The South African National Air Rifle Championships were held this past weekend in Vanderbijlpark. Representing St Andrew’s College and the Eastern Cape, Julius Rocher, Cole Wavamunno and Oliver Hutton had a hard competition in the U16 age group. The conditions were punishing, with the temperature in the competition venue close to 40 degrees. Heat exhaustion and dehydration affected athletes and spectators alike. At the conclusion of the event, Julius was
placed second and Cole third in the U16 age group in the Olympic 1Om discipline. The scores were very encouraging, with each of the boys achieving the scores set for them and Julius improving on his last Provincial match by 40 points.
For sheer courage, no one needs to look further than Oliver. Completely overcome by the heat and dehydration, he was removed from the firing point with a fifteen minute time allowance for recovery to be effected and to return to complete his match. In the time allowed, his condition improved sufficiently for him to shoot the rest of his match without a jacket. It was the bravest performance by a College athlete that I have ever seen. Against all the odds, he shot his required score and so propelled the team to a well-earned gold medal. Julius rendered the First Aid, Mr Ross Hutton monitored pulse and temperature; Cole did not allow
himself to be distracted and continued his competition with quiet determination; and then Julius put up a fine score, breaking the 500 barrier.