Congratulations to 15 year old Donne Hooper and 14 year old Amaarah Cornish, for taking the top spot in the Western Province schools water polo teams. They will be representing the Western Cape in Durban during December.
The girls, both from Grassy Park, were introduced to the water polo sport by the end of Grade 6 and since then, they have competed in various school challenges and managed to dominate in their respective competitions. Their u.13A team was undefeated during the Knysna Oakhill waterpolo festival and they swim provincially through their club, Hurricane Aquatics. Amaarah was awarded the All Stars award at the Cannons Creek tournament during 2015 and also made the provincial u.13B team.
They also participate in the Discovery World Triathlon and Duathlon annually. They are currently provincial Biathlon athletes and were selected to represent the province in Oudtshoorn for two consecutive years during 2014 and 2015. Amaarah was selected to represent South Africa but had to decline due to the inter provincial waterpolo tournament held at Newlands.
In addition to this, they also participate in the Three Vlei race where they ran 10km. Donne is currently running for ARD as a junior and is now running 10km in (under) one hour. She has also participated in all winter league meets for ARD and loves the sport.
Their activities does not just include sports. They are members of a group called the Grassy Park feeding scheme, and during their free time, they help to feed those in need.
However, both their families value education and they have been taught from a young age that they have to manage their time properly to fit in their studies. Despite training the entire school week, they keep their grades high and they are determined to study at UCT and play for the universities water polo team. When interviewed, both their moms, Anthea Hooper and Miriam Cornish, agreed that academics comes first before any sport.
Anthea and Mariam also confesses that their daughter’s sports are very expensive and they are not rich people so they have to make a lot of sacrifices. They also help to raise funds by doing fundraisers and selling boerewors rolls. They can also depend on their families and friends who likes to assist when the girls needs money for their trips. Both moms say that the sacrifices are worth it.
Despite their love of sports and their close friendship, they are very different. Donne is a quiet individual, who loves reading and animals and aims to volunteer at the SPCA as soon as she is 16 years old. Amaarah is a socialite who loves interacting with people of all ages and she loves music and reading. Both of them have a strong belief that charity and respect starts at home and one should never forget your roots. They also believe that you should be active, be proud of your environment, manage your time, and you should never let your circumstances dictate your ability. Some wise words from two exceptional young ladies.
In Picture: Donne on the left and Amaarah on the right
Source: News24 (edited from an article by Chevon Booysen)