MTBS jumping jack’s record-breaking leap

MZOXOLO BUDAZA

Bellville High School pupil Crissio Roberts was among the top performers at this year’s MTBS athletics meeting, in Parow, earlier this month, smashing the boys’ under-19 triple jump record.

The one-day annual track and field event featured DF Malan, Tygerberg, Bellville and Stellenberg high schools. Not so long ago, the youngster’s dreams seemed to be shattered when he was diagnosed with cancer in 2014.

His father Chris said things were so bad that the youngster from Eerste River was told he couldn’t attend school anymore and had to undergo surgery later that year.

He under-went the surgery but, instead of staying at home, the Grade 12 pupil defied all odds and went back to school in 2015.

That proved to be a turning point as he found himself taking part in that year’s MTBS tournament, resulting in him breaking the triple jump record of 14.1m.

That was a comeback no one anticipated. He was not yet done, as he returned to this year’s event even stronger, winning a gold medal in triple jump with a record-breaking 14.18m jump and a silver medal in the 100m sprint, clocking 10.98 seconds.

That was his second competition this year, having taken part in the Norman Hauzer School’s tournament earlier this year, where he was named best boys’ track athlete, after winning the under-19 100m sprint. He also broke that competition’s triple jump record.

Crissio said his eyes are now firmly on the Northern Zone championships in Bellville later this month.

“I want to do well in that competition and hopefully earn my WP colours. What motivates me even more is the fact that I have never gone beyond that stage, so I think my time has finally come. I am 100% ready and sure that I will do even better than the 14.18m jump.

“Having said that, I am not going to try doing anything out of the ordinary, the plan is to stick to what I have been doing well so far,” he said adding that triple jump has always been his first choice.

“You have to be patient and disciplined, and then everything else will fall in place,” he said.

His parents Chris and mother Asunta described his come-back as a miracle. Asunta said this was because there was a point where they felt it was over, especially when he couldn’t attend school.

“Seeing him coming back even stronger was great, it is still difficult to explain the feeling.

“All we could do, as his parents, was to support him because we believe it is important for children to know that their parents are behind them, and that is especially important when they are going through difficult times,” she said.