Home competition discipline Green and Gold for Rhythmic Gymnast Tricha Richards ahead of African Championships

Green and Gold for Rhythmic Gymnast Tricha Richards ahead of African Championships

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Tricha Richards is no rookie when it comes to the rhythmic gymnastics arena; yet being awarded her Proteas Colours by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee and Gymnastics South Africa, marks a historic moment for Kimberley and the Northern Cape.

Tricha Richards’ star just continues to rise, seemingly without hindrance. The Grade 9 learner at St. Patrick’s CBC School and rhythmic gymnastics sensation, has once again left spectators in awe. Picture: Supplied, KaskIndrek

Tricha Richards’ star just continues to rise, seemingly without hindrance. The Grade 9 learner at St. Patrick’s CBC School and rhythmic gymnastics sensation, has once again left spectators in awe.

In a dazzling display of skill and discipline, Tricha recently showcased her exceptional talent at the Junior and Senior Trial Rhythmic Gymnastics competition at the Kempton Park Indoor Sports Centre.

The young gymnast’s performance was nothing short of remarkable, earning her selection for the second time to represent both the Northern Cape and South Africa at the upcoming African Championships in Kigali, Rwanda.

Fortunately for Tricha her experienced and savvy coach, Tazmiah Francis, will accompany her on this prestigious journey.

Tricha, herself, is no rookie when it comes to the rhythmic gymnastics arena; yet being awarded her Proteas Colours by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and Gymnastics South Africa, marks a historic moment for Kimberley and the Northern Cape.

This recognition signifies not only her individual achievement but also the collective dedication of her club, Rhythmia Gymnastics, and the unwavering support she’s been receiving from her coach and the community.

Reflecting on her journey, Tricha shared her sentiments with the DFA, expressing a mix of emotions.

“Experiencing an initial flow of emotions, I find myself overwhelmed with a whirlwind of feelings,” she said. “I am filled with a great sense of accomplishment, not only for proving myself, but also for demonstrating to my coach, Tazmiah Francis, that we possess the necessary quality to succeed.

“It’s a realisation that my dream has not just materialised once, but twice, affirming its achievement. Never did I imagine that one day, as a Rhythmic gymnast from Kimberley, I would achieve the honour of receiving my Protea Colours,” she said.

Despite the challenges she faces, such as inadequate training facilities due to low roofs, she holds onto the belief that ‘hard work pays off’.

“Through dedication and determination, I persevere. Being acknowledged by SASCOC and GSA carries profound significance for me. It symbolises the height of relentless training, unwavering perseverance, and hard dedication despite facing numerous challenges – financial, emotional, and physical – while simultaneously balancing academic pursuits,” Tricha added.

Speaking about her coach, she said that she is deeply grateful to coach Tazmiah, the Sports Academy, Northern Cape Gymnastics Association, St. Patrick’s CBC School, DuToitspan Primary School, her family, and friends, whose unwavering support has been instrumental in her journey.

“Without their guidance and encouragement, this accolade would have remained beyond reach. I am committed to showcasing my utmost dedication and skills, not only to myself but also to my coach, who has become like a second mother to me,” Tricha said.

“Our collective journey of growth, fulfilment, and unwavering commitment serves as a testament to the impact we can make, inspiring and guiding the younger generation of Rhythmic Gymnasts in the Northern Cape.”

The road to sporting excellence is not an easy one as any athlete will tell you. Tricha told the DFA that daily, she commits herself to precise training, a discipline that extends even to public holidays. Sacrificing her social life is a choice she has made willingly, knowing that the pursuit of excellence demands unwavering dedication.

With the unwavering support of her coach, she pours her heart and soul into each training session, leaving nothing to chance.

“The opportunity to participate in the African Championships for the second time fills me with an indescribable sense of pride and gratitude. It’s a profound honour and privilege to represent not only my province, but also the whole of South Africa on the International stage.

“The weight of this responsibility fuels my determination to perform at my absolute best. I carry the flag of my country with pride, understanding the significance of my role as an ambassador.”

The young gymnast’s goal is clear: to uphold the reputation of South African athletics and to never falter her commitment to excellence. As she steps onto the Rhythmic carpet, she carries the hopes and dreams of a nation with her, and she refuses to let them down.

With every stride, every jump, and every throw, she is driven by the desire to make her country proud.

“I will continue to soar to new heights, pushing myself beyond my limits, and always giving my all. This is not just a personal journey; it’s a journey of representing something greater than myself. And I am determined to rise to the occasion, flying our flag high with every ounce of strength and passion within me,” she concluded.

Coach Tazmiah Francis, whose guidance has been instrumental in Richards’ development, emphasised the significance of her charge’s achievements.

“It is a huge accolade for such a young gymnast to receive her Proteas colours,” Francis said to the DFA. “Tricha is only 14-years-old and has been doing Rhythmic Gymnastics for nine years.

“To be one of the best rhythmic gymnasts in the country is not always easy. This requires self-discipline, dedication, continuous growth, hard work, and hours of training,” Francis added.

The coach highlighted the journey they’ve undertaken together, stating, “Over the years, we developed a good coach and gymnast relationship.”

Looking ahead, Francis outlined ambitious goals for Richards. “Our future goals for Tricha is to participate at the Commonwealth games, Olympics, and senior world champs in the near future,” said Francis.

The journey of Richards and Francis exemplifies the spirit of perseverance and determination, inspiring the younger generation of rhythmic gymnasts in the Northern Cape.

As Tricha Richards prepares to represent her province and her country on the international stage once again, her commitment to excellence remains unwavering.

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