GOING PLACES: Wits Judo’s male representative in the USSA and Senior National teams, Calvin Fourie with his collection of championship medals. PHOTO: Anlerie de Wet

Third-year education student, Calvin Fourie, started taking judo classes after school when he was three years old. Now, at the age of 22, Fourie has four national championship wins under his belt and was ranked 9th in the 2013 World Student games.

“I tried out judo because my dad did it and I really enjoyed it. I still do it because it keeps me fit and healthy. I also get to travel the world,” said Fourie.

His success in judo has taken him to championship competitions in Japan, Portugal, Greece, Russia and the USA. Fourie will be adding the stamp of Gabon to his passport when he accompanies the senior national team to Libreville for the Senior African Judo Championships next week.

After placing first in the under 100kg and second in the open weight categories at the USSA Championships end of March, Fourie was selected for the University Sport SA (USSA) team. If the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) decides to send the USSA team to the Judo World Championships, Fourie will be heading to South Korea in July.

Although it is difficult for Fourie to balance his studies and training, he manages to make it work.  “If I don’t participate in physical activity my ADD kicks in and I get fidgety and struggle to study.”

He feels very proud every time he represents South Africa. “It’s not an easy thing to make the national team, it’s a real accomplishment.”