SA Paralympic squad announced
The SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Commitee (Sascoc) on Wednesday announced the Paralympic squad for the 2012 London Games
Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula was on hand to give the team his blessing, and said a winning attitude was more important than victory itself.
"Participation in the Olympic or Paralympic Games is the ultimate dream of any athlete of any country," Mbalula said at the team announcement in Johannesburg.
"You have done all in your power to qualify and now you are on your journey, putting in your final weeks of preparation.
"Stay focused, polish your practice and take care of your health.
"'The key is not the will to win – everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important,'" Mbalula said, quoting retired US basketball coach Bob Knight.
Mbalula referred to the mixed success South Africans had enjoyed at previous Paralympics until they raised the flag at Beijing in 2008, where they finished sixth, returning home with 30 medals.
"We are thankful for this excellent performance and pleased that you will do it again as usual at the 2012 Games in London," he said.
"Our celebration and the recognition of the performances of this Paralympic team are yet to be underscored in many ways and yet they have done exceptionally well, putting South Africa ahead of other nations in the world.
"We need to do more in support of our Paralympic team and we are putting all our support behind you.
"All that remains is for you to go out there and outperform your competitors - we want to feel the hardware (medals)."
The South African team comprises 62 athletes across seven sports.
TEAM SOUTH AFRICA FOR THE PARALYMPIC GAMES
ATHLETICS: Tshepo Bhebe, Dyan Buis, Andrea Dalle Ave, Pieter du Preez, Charl du Toit, Arnu Fourie, Ilse Hayes, Hilton Langenhoven, Anrune Liebenberg, Michael Louwrens, Teboho Mokgalagadi, Jan Nehro (guide: Duane Fortuin), Zandile Nhlapo, Jonathan Ntutu, Oscar Pistorius, Anika Pretorius, Samkelo Radebe, Casper Schutte, Union Sekailwe, Zanele Situ, Zivan Smith, Marius Stander, Duane Strydom, Fanie van der Merwe, Chenelle van Zyl. Manager: Dion Bishop. Coaches: Suzanne Ferreira, Zelda Hansen, Hennie Koekemoer, Karin le Roux, Ampie Louw. Team Assistant: Neels Matthyser. Helper: Illse du Preez
CYCLING: Roxy Burns, Madre Carinus, Stuart McCreadie, Jaco Nel, Ernst van Dyk, Gerhard Viljoen. Manager: Mike Burns. Coach: Ricky Kulsen. Mechanic: Pieter Jansen.
EQUESTRIAN: Anthony Dawson, Philipa Johnson, Marion Milne, Wendy Moller. Manager: Tracey Cumming. Coach: Chris Haazen. Vet: Sheelagh Higgerty. Grooms: Enoch Cele, Anton Chimbuanda, Elizabeth Newsome, Teri Smith.
ROWING:: Sandra Khumalo. Manager/coach: Marco Galeone.
SWIMMING: Renette Bloem, Charl Bouwer, Natalie du Toit, Emily Gray, Achmat Hassiem, Hendri Herbst, Marike Naude, Kevin Paul, Shireen Sapiro, Tadhg Slattery. Manager: Queeneth Ndlovu.Coach: Karoly Toros. Coach/Tapper: Karin Hugo. Tapper/Helper: Eeden Meyer.
WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL: Justin Govender, Siphamandla Gumbi, Stuart Jellows, Kyle Louw, Luvuyo Mbande, Gift Mooketsi, Richard Nortje, Kobus Oeschger, Marius Papenfus, Marcus Retief, Jaco Velloen. Manager: Willie Riechert. Coach: Patrick Fick. Assistant coach: Shadrack Moepeng. Technical coach: Franck Belen.
WHEELCHAIR TENNIS: Evans Maripa, Sydwell Mathonsi, Kgothatso Montjane, Lucas Sithole. Manager/coach: Holger Losch. Assistant coach: Khotso Matshego.
GENERAL TEAM MANAGEMENT
Chef de Mission: Pieter Badenhorst
Project manager: Vinesh Maharaj
Manager (logistics): Clifford Cobers
Logistics: Madira Sehlapelo
Manager (athletes services): Chantelle Jardim
Athlete services: Dumisani Mtwa
Chief medical officer: Wayne Derman
Chief physiotherapist: Grace Hughes
Doctor: Paul Maphoto
Physiotherapists: Given Baloyi, Edwin Bodha, Greshne Davids, Shantal Edwards, Dan Ntseke, Evah Ramashala
Classifier: Tarina van der Stockt