An Introduction to Cross Country Athlete, Zondrea Booysen

Competing for the first time this year, 11 year old Zondrea Booysen showed

the kind of talent of an athlete that had been training for years. The 3km Cross Country athlete had not been able to compete in the previous years because her mother, Mearleen, had felt the sports days were unsafe. After having spotted her potential, her coaches Meagan Cloete, Anne Muller and Chantal Petersen made a special effort to persuade Mearleen to let Zondrea compete. The school even went as far as make sure that Zondrea’s school work was kept up to date to ensure her schooling did not suffer as a result of training. Maurleen finally gave permission and Zondrea is on her way to becoming one of the most promising athletes in the country.

In her first big competition, the Imperial Primary School pupil joined 15 other pupils from her school as part of the school team at the Western Province trials. Of the 15 pupils, Zondrea was the only one to be selected and is the first at the school to reach this level in the sport. This meant that she qualified to be part of the Western Cape Cross Country team.
She also qualified to compete in the Sassa National Cross Country Championships and she was invited to the Ilana Meyer Cross Country Distance Academy in Stellenbosch next year. She says that she is excited about the all of the opportunities, but also a little bit nervous.


Mearleen says she is very proud of Zondrea and wants her to do well in the sport, but also wants to be there to ensure her safety. Her coaches are exceptionally proud of Zondrea and say that she is the only one who would train every day and is really committed.
Her dream is to run in the Olympics and it is agreed by her coaches that she has what it takes to compete in the Olympics 2024. She currently competes as a member of Bottelary Athletics Club.

Looking at the fact that she achieved so much despite having only started running this year, we are certain that we will be hearing a whole lot more of this incredible young star. We are just waiting for the day when we will be cheering for her come 2024.

Source(s): News24 (Edited from article written by Samantha Lee) and the KFM Breakfast Show


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