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Disabled athlete, coach takes school sports to new heights

16 April 2019

Shane Smit

A talented athlete with willpower like no other continues to reach new heights and break more records than ever before, despite having one leg 4cm shorter than the other.

Shane Smit (27) is not only dedicated and hardworking, but he strives to coach others and has them achieve the best they can.

After realising that he could not compete to his full potential when running against able-bodied athletes, Smit underwent extensive physical testing and learned that his left leg measured at 73cm, while his right leg was at 77cm.

“The tests included a balance test, the strength of my bones and legs and that is when we realised that I have a disability. This happened in 2011,” Smit explained.

Smit coaches athletics at the Pretoria High School for Girls in Pretoria and boasts an impressive 31 medals won at the interschool tournament this year.

“Altogether, the girls from ages u/14 to u/19 won 62 medals, I feel extremely proud to say that 31 of those medals were earned by learners I coach,” says Smit.

From 15 to 22 March this year, Smit took part in the South Africa Sport Association for the Physically Disabled national championships (SASPD) in Stellenbosch. He walked away with a gold medal for achieving first prize in the 5 000m category with a time of 22:22.

Smit dreams of attending the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai in November where he is set to break more records.

Story by Danielle Garrett Pretoria East Rekord