MORE ABOUT ME:
In my native South Africa, I excelled in gymnastics. Competing and winning medals in the parallel bars, balance beam, floor and vault at Queens High School, near Johannesburg. Gymnastics training launched me into a career as a competitive trampolinist. After winning national medals and going on to coach, I judged in the sport before retiring.
The youngest of five siblings, and always active, I gravitated to the outdoors. There was no television in the house and the Internet didn’t exist, so all the neighbourhood children played street cricket and lawn volleyball and explored trenches known as dongas. There were trips to the vast countryside – Swaziland was where my best boarding school friend lived, and my family would spend every Christmas in Cape Town with my Great Aunts whom we loved dearly. Being the youngest, and always around older people, I developed an affinity for older adults.
My final years in South Africa coincided with the collapse of apartheid. During the late 1980s, as fitness-consciousness swept across much of America, South Africa remained widely isolated from the trend because of its state-sponsored segregation and international sanctions. After a full year of saving, I made my first overseas trip to the 1987 IDEA International Fitness Convention in Anaheim, California to become a certified group exercise instructor. Realizing that there was nothing quite like that at all back in South Africa, I brought that training right back, where I produced and led fitness workshops in Johannesburg. With the demand for more cutting-edge training, my trips to America became annual and I made many friends across the USA.
I am proudly South African and love the spirit of togetherness (umoja) that has brought us through the darkest times and now carries into the future.
I am passionate about empowering myself and others through education: about wellness, health issues, HIV/AIDS, hunger and poverty, the responsibility to practice recycling, protect the environment and rhino poaching!
My personal vision is to give back to my home country and the person I would have most liked to have met was Nelson Mandela.