Not many days until the championships & we reached a guest contribution by Kate Reilly from Swaziland in Africa.
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An aspiring highly talented and competitive young Swazi boy from the rural areas of Swaziland. Born and bred in the Lobamba area, Viki comes from a family of little financial privilege. Viki schools at a local school, Lobamba High which he walks to and from each day.
Viki started his Vaulting career six years ago with the Rising Star Foundation in Swaziland. This Foundation (established some ten years ago) is an initiative of the Swazi-Lizkhar Group and its vision is to enable talented athletes an equal opportunity irrespective of financial privilege. We have put a large number of financially privileged and disadvantaged kids through our programs. Viki is one such kid who has taken this privilege and aspired to become GREAT!
The Rising Star Foundation have had a number of coaches brought in from overseas (Germany, Australia, America). The Rising Star Foundation Coach changed the life of this kid and Swaziland with her passion and belief in our athletes… Nina Ehlen! Nina identified Viki’s talent early on and started to push him with the most incredible results. Through their partnership and commitment Viki excelled and made his debut at the FEI Africa Cup recently held in Mauritius where he won the individual D grade Category.
Inspired by this win Nina trained Viki hard and relentlessly for the CVIJ* and ** in Johannesburg in the belief and hope that he could qualify for the World Junior Championship! A dream never held by a Swazi before. Against all odds we raised the funds necessary for Viki to compete at this competition and came home a Victor! Winning the CVIJ* positioning him to go on to the ** competition where he had a chance to qualify, which he did…!
And so his and his Coach’s fairytale began….
Viki Dlamini the FIRST EVER Swazi to qualify and compete at any WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP in EQUESTRIAN
Nina Ehlen the FIRST EVER Coach to qualify a Swazi athlete to compete at a WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP in EQUESTRIAN!