How ice cream drives this athlete to excel at multiple sports

August 27, 2019

 

Elderi Wiese was brought up in a culture with a fierce passion for rugby. 

 

As a South African, there is much to be proud of as well - the Springboks boast a rich rugby heritage and recently became four-time Rugby Championship winners, prying a fourth consecutive title away from New Zealand. 

 

Although the high-impact nature of rugby was something Wiese shied away from, she immediately seized at the non-contact version of the sport once the opportunity arose. 

 

"I've always been a fan of rugby growing up in South Africa where its a big part of tradition, culture and social gatherings," she said

 

"I didn't want to play rugby because I didn't like the contact, but touch rugby was a fun non-contact version of rugby that I enjoyed."

 

 

Now based in Hong Kong, the 30-year-old won back-to-back Elite Women's titles in 2017 and 2018, playing an instrumental part in a T8 Touch Football side which has established itself as one of the most successful teams in the city. 

 

Not content with leaving her mark on the touch rugby scene, Wiese performed a similar feat at the highest level of domestic netball, becoming two-time reigning Premiership champion with Sonics. 

 

While others may choose to focus on one, excelling at multiple sports has always been child's play for Wiese. 

 

From a young age, the South African emerged as the best sportswoman in her primary school, winning the Vitrix Ludorum award due to her background in athletics, netball and hockey. 

 

 
A number of appearances for South African provincial squads later, Wiese even reached the cusp of selection for her country's representative netball squad (ranked 5th in the world).

 

"I guess at the age of 7 you don't really know what netball is, but I can be glad that my mom made me try all the sports and culture activities at school."

 

"From there on, I loved it and people noticed that I have [ potential. My dad made me a goal post, and I just loved shooting goals in the backyard every day after school and on weekends."

 

Far from the two sports taking a physical and mental toll, Wiese thrives on a busy sports schedule and fills in her supposed 'rest' days with gym sessions, as well as squash and running. 

 

 

This year, she is ready to add paddle-run racing to an already extensive sporting repertoire, signalling her full commitment by registering for a competition. 

 

"The times that training/games did clash, I would prioritise which one is more important to train/play for at that specific time/stage of the season. When you love playing sports and being active, it's easy to make things work," Wiese said. 

 

"Yes it can get physically tiring at times, but after one or two days off, I'm ready and excited to get back on the field/court again. Being active makes me happy and makes me feel less guilty for loving ice cream, thus the more active I am the more content I am." 

 

If Wiese's story proves anything, it speaks to the importance of parental support during an athlete's formative years, teaching us that a balanced lifestyle is key and that being truly passionate about sports means we should never be afraid to constantly reinvent ourselves. 

 

 

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