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Let's Play | News

Janke van der Vyver © SS

Sports Stars of the Month - October

Let’s Play, in association with various community newspapers, conducts a special initiative to give recognition to learners at either Primary or High school who excel in sport.

Play, physical education and sport are foundational to the holistic development of children and an initiative of this nature will establish a healthier community and encourage sports activity.

Schools wishing to participate in this initiative should submit a short letter with a motivation to their respective regional newspaper about why their learner should be the Sport Star of the Month.

Click here for more details.

Our winners for the month of October are:


Janke van der Vyver (15), a grade 9 pupil from C&N Girls School Oranje in Bloemfontein, has been chosen as October’s Sport Star of the month for Bloemfontein Express.

Janke has been chosen for her achievements in Badminton. Janke started with Badminton in 2008 at age 10, and have ever since been part of the Free State Team. In 2009 she achieved a double South African title in the u/13 singles and doubles and won silver in the Mixed Doubles.

In 2010, at the age of 12, Janke was the youngest member of the South African u/15 team that took part in the All African Championships in Mauritius. This earned her Junior Protea colors. In 2011 at the age of 13, Janke won three u/15 South African titles in Single, Double and Mixed Doubles and u/17 South African Singles title as well as a silver medal in Doubles. Janke also represented the u/19 Free State A-team and was selected for the u/19 South African team to represent South Africa at the Botswana International in Gabarone.

In 2012 Janke represented the Free State team as captain in both the u/17 and u/19 South African championship tournaments. She also won the South African u/17 Singles title, as well as the Mixed Doubles titles won a silver medal in the Doubles. During the South African u/19 Tournament, Janke receives a silver medal for Singles and Mixed Doubles and a bronze medal for Doubles. After the tournament, she was rated as the No 2 u/19 girl in South Africa.

Janke was selected for the South African u/19 team that will be competing from 26 October to 06 November at the Junior World Championships in Japan. Janke was also selected to be part of the Senior Free State B team at the Senior South African Championships (Melville Cup) in Bloemfontein.


Heidemarie Edeling, a 14 year old, Grade 8 scholar of the Eunice High School in Bloemfontein, has been chosen as the SuperSport Let’s Play Sport Star of the month from Bloemnews for her achievements in Equestrian sport.

She competed in the 2012 Pony Rider National Equestrian Championship of South Africa - the highest level of competition for pony riders in South Africa (pony rider = up to the age of 15 years). Heidemarie won both the SA titles for dressage. Currently she is the 2012 National Pony Rider Individual Dressage Champion of South Africa and also the 2012 National Pony Rider Freestyle Dressage Champion of South Africa. Heidemarie had a hat-trick this year by winning these SA titles for the third consecutive year. No rider could achieve this before.

She has won both these SA titles in 2010 and also in 2011. During March 2012 her achievements were recognised by the South African Equestrian Association receiving a Merit certificate for being the highest rank Pony Rider in South Africa for the year 2011.

Currently she is the No 1 Dressage Pony Rider in South Africa on the SAEA’s ranking list. She is also the winner of the 2012 SA National Dressage Challenge in the Junior Advanced section. Heidemarie was recently nominated by the FS&NC Horse Society and her nomination was accepted by Sascoc for their annual SA Sports Awards Nominations for 2012, in the category “Newcomer of the Year / Sportswoman of the Year”.


Portia Khumalo (17) from Retief High School in Kestell in the Eastern Free State has been chosen as October’s Sport Star of the month for QwaQwa Express.

Portia has been chosen for her achievements in athletics and chess. In 2011, Portia started taking part in the 400m. Her passion however is for javelin, discus and shot-put. She achieved 3rd place for Javelin at Harrismith for the district competition competing in ladies u/17. She also achieved 5th place for shot-put.

Portia has also been playing chess since the age of 12 and won many tournaments. In 2010 she formed part of the u/15 girl’s provincial chess team. In 2012, she received gold and silver for the Thabo Mofutsanyane district. Portia says that her inspiration for sport comes from her school peers.

She says: “It’s amazing how sport can change your life even if you are academically grounded. My sport hero is Natalie du Toit - she is disabled but a world champion! This is lesson for me that I can do better, that I don't have to give up on sport or any challenge of life.

I'm preparing to take part in Hurdles and Long jump this year and will one day probably be a South African Champion!”


Dylan Philander, a grade 9 scholar of the Danielskuil High School in the Northern Cape, has been chosen as the SuperSport Let’s Play Sport Star of the month from Northern Cape Express.

This 14-year old has been chosen for his achievements in soccer at the Wanderers Youth Academy. Dylan is described as a very versatile player with a strong character. He was nominated to attend the trials for the Northern Cape Provincial team but could not attend due to financial implications.

Dylan and his team won the Grassroots Soccer Tournament which was held at the Danielskuil High School Sports Ground recently. Dylan is a talented goalkeeper and has a very good prospect for the position as a striker. Dylan is part of the Wanderers Youth Academy. Their focused is on developing potential sports men and women at school and community level in the Danielskuil / Lime Acres (Kgatelopele) Municipal area.

The academy currently consists of players ranging from 14 years to 19 years old, with the aim to develop them for the future.


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