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Fanie van der Merwe

The Order of Ikhamanga in

Fanie van der Merwe Awarded for:
His excellent contribution to the field of paralympic athletics. He has pushed past physical impediments to shine as a man of courage.
Profile of Fanie van der Merwe

Fanie van der Merwe is a South African paralympic athlete who has done the country proud. He was born and raised in Virginia, a small town in the Free State. In 2004 he matriculated at Hentie Cilliers High School. Van der Merwe is on a mission to recruit and teach more young people athletics. He competes mainly in category T13 sprint events. He competed in the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, China where he won a Gold Medal in the men’s 100m-T37 event and he also won a Gold Medal for winning the men’s 200m-T37 event. In the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London he defended his 100m T37 Gold Medal.

Van der Merwe balances his sport with studies. He received a BA Sport Science degree from the University of Stellenbosch in 2009. He is a world-record holder in 100m and 200m. He has a Level 2 ASA sprinting-coach qualification. His selflessness in the service of others is evident in his work with young people. Together with his brother Chris, they realised the need for developing discipline through the sport they participate in but also in the lives of those who aspire to excel in these sporting disciplines. They have started an organisation called Inspired2Become, a specialised organisation focusing on alternative action sports such as rollerblading, skateboarding and skim boarding and athletics for people with disabilities.

Van der Merwe feels that these are two niche groups that are mostly overlooked in young people’s sport. Being a professional track athlete, he has the desire to develop the youth through the use of athletics for people with disabilities.