Curro Learner makes history at wrestling championship in Morocco
A grade 12 learner from Curro Heuwelkruin in Polokwane has become the first-ever female wrestler from Limpopo to be selected for the Protea Wrestling Team.
Lené van As was chosen to represent both the Women’s National Under 20 and Senior Team of the South African Wrestling Federation at the African Continental Championship hosted in El Jadida, Casablanca, Morocco between 17 to 22 May 2022.
This was the first time the talented youngster, who has been wrestling since she was nine, has visited Morocco but her new surroundings didn’t stop her from punching her way to success. Despite a few challenging matches, Van As qualified in a fantastic fourth position in the Under 20 Women’s national team category and sixth position in the senior team. This phenomenal accomplishment means she is now ranked 50th in the United World Wrestling Ranking.
“It was an honour to represent my country in Morocco and wrestle against other equally skilled individuals from around the world. Wrestling is an always evolving sport, and no two matches are the same, so you must be flexible, be able to think on your feet, and make split-second decisions. I trained very hard for this competition, between 4 to 6 times a week and even during the holidays so it feels amazing to finally see my hard work pay off. The most challenging part of wrestling is being able to keep a cool and calculated head when the fatigue sets in and I am proud that I was able to do this during my matches,” she says.
Van As owes her success to her coach Jan Roets, undoubtedly one of the best wrestling coaches in South Africa. “I am very proud of Lené. She is a good example for young girls in our community and performed tremendously well in the recent African Continental Championship,” he says.
Despite her wonderful achievements, Van As is not resting for a second and is already back on the mat with her sights now set on winning gold at the African Championships 2023 in Tunisia. She also hopes to qualify for the World Wrestling Championships.
“We are delighted that Lené has done so well in Morocco. Her passion and commitment to her sport are an inspiration, and she is a worthy role model for younger learners in our school. Her triumph shows other learners, especially young girls, that nothing can stand in your way when you dedicate yourself to what you love. We know this isn’t going to be the last we hear of Lené and we wish her continued success both on and off the mat,” concludes Eben Lingenfelder, Executive Head at Curro Heuwelkruin.