Esona competed in the under 11 mixed relay on Wednesday 28 Oct and they came 4th with her partner out of 14 teams at the world championship games in Portugal. On Sunday 30th Oct she competed in the U11 individual race where she was placed 7th out of 23 girls. She was the 2nd South African girl to finish and after adding the times of the top 3 South African girls took 2nd place as the Under 11 SA team.

Portugal

Before her trip to Portugal, Esona and her mom embarked on a fundraising mission to help fund her trip to the world championship games.

We caught up with Esona and her mom and this is what they had to say:

Where does one begin? It has not been an easy journey to get to Portugal but one thing I can say is that it was worth it!  Let me start by saying that I managed to raise all the funds for my daughter Esona to get to Portugal despite all the challenges we encountered before the trip.  We stood firm and trusted God and never lost sight of the shore.

Portugal

Before we left on 20 October 2022, we were invited to the City Hall by Deputy Mayor Princess Faku as the Buffalo City Metro Municipality assisted with R24,000 toward her trip. We flew from East London to Johannesburg and connected to Dubai, Lisbon, and to Madeira Island.  We traveled for almost 2 days, and we arrived in Machico at 23h30 on 21 October 2022. We checked into our home for the duration of our stay in Portugal which was a total of 11 days (we received such a warm welcome from our host).

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Portugal

On Saturday Esona had a rest day as we were jet legged and then on Sunday, she had an open water training session with her coach.  On 24 & 25 October we did some site seeing and Esona had training with some of her teammates from SA.  On 26 October the mixed relays started and Esona was also selected to participate.  She and her partner came 4th in the U11 category. In her individual race, she came 7th ahead of the other 2 South Africans by more than 10 seconds and they managed to secure a silver medal as the girls’ U11 team. I am so proud of Esona and her performance in Portugal especially since it was her 1st international competition. Esona also made friends and even exchanged kits with them.

We returned to South Africa on 2nd November where we received a warm welcome at the airport from family and the community of East London.  I would like to thank everyone who has supported us on this journey; her sponsors and those who donated; our family, her coaches, and manager, our church (Trinity Methodist Church), and my friends who created a group called “Team Esona” who did a beautiful send-off and welcome back for her. Esona said in a family prayer which was held at home on the day of our return “I would like to thank everyone who has supported and prayed for me, and I ask that they continue to pray for me”

I would like to also thank Tag My School Magazine and all the media platforms who supported and shared our story!

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Esona came back from the world championships and received academic excellence awards

  • Honors for sport🏆
  • Biathlete of the year🏆
  • The most outstanding
  • sporting achievement🏆

Keep shining Esona, Tag My School Magazine wishes you nothing but the best on your journey!!!