Belarus Powerlifting Dreams Fundraiser


Road to IPF World Powerlifting Championships


Where does one begin to explain this amazing journey€¦€¦€¦. Perhaps at the very beginning! 

Just a little over a year ago I was your typical average gym-going woman just wanting to get into shape and be fit and healthy, little did I know that when I joined up at The Yard Athletic and approached coach Joshua Capazoria that my life would change!   

I had very little knowledge and exposure to Powerlifting at that point and didn't even begin to imagine that it would be something I would excel at.  Oh, boy was I wrong, as only a few days ago I received a letter from the South African Powerlifting Federation that I had been selected to represent South Africa, my country, at the IPF World Powerlifting Championships to be hosted in Belarus, Minsk this year June.  Words fail me even now to describe the emotions that I feel at this achievement, proud, humbled, excited, elated, nervous, thrilled, appreciative, thankful€¦.. the list goes on!

To put things in perspective at how amazing and proud I am of this journey, let me break it down in a bulleted fashion:

  • Jan 2016 - Signed up at The Yard Athletic:  Yay for me, this is gonna be awesome!
  • Feb 2016 - Coach Josh please will you train me?:   Got a long speech about how he doesn't tolerate laziness and that he takes his job very seriously €“ Duly noted, this guy obviously doesn't know me well enough yet to know I don't back down from a challenge!
  • Mar - Jul 2016 - Training business as usual:   Coach Josh slowly but surely starts introducing me to Powerlifting movements (Squat, Bench Press & Deadlift) - apparently I may have some talent here :)
  • Aug 2016 - First ever Powerlifting Comp (SA Qualifier):   Hmmmm not only my first comp Ive competed in but also a qualifying competition for the opportunity to compete at SA RAW Championships - NO PRESSURE! And what do you know, I successfully completed the competition and qualified to compete the following year!
  • Oct 2016 - Tactical Strength Challenge (International Comp) - So not quite powerlifting but once again another opportunity for a challenge. Three movements, Max Rep Deadlift, Chinup Hold max time & 5 mins Kettle Bell Snatches as many reps as possible.  Entered the ladies novice division and what do you know, I placed first! BAM!
  • Sep - Nov 2016:  The Yard hosts an annual Body Transformation Challenge each year:  You know Im entering that, cant resist a challenge and the opportunity to get into great shape.  Three months of intense training and the cleanest diet Ive ever had to endure...... and what do you think happened - yep, I won the ladies title for best transformation.  What a way to end the year, best physical shape of my life.
  • Feb 2017 - Powerlfiting Comp:  No need to qualify but definitely need some more platform time before SA's in March - also after Transformation challenge why not compete in a lower weight division (57kg previously 63kg) and see how we do there.  Well what do you know, Podium finish - second place - this just keeps getting better.
  • Mar 2017 - SA Champs Potchefstroom:  Feeling very nervous, my first National competition, knowing full well Im up against some really amazing athletes - Discussed with Coach Josh my expectations for this comp - ''Josh, the only thing I want for today, to get 9 good lifts in'' - Mission accomplished, 9 amazing lifts could not have asked for a better result.......... but wait, there's more.  Another podium finish!!!! 3rd place - I cant believe this just happened! Tears and elation.
  • Mar 2017 - SA Team and Reserves announced:  I made the reserve list - what an achievement considering this is only my first year.  Cant wait for next year, will defintely do my best to get onto the team.
  • 17 April 2017 - Notifiation recieved:  Congratulations, Toni Coetzee you have been selected to represent South Africa at the IPF World Powerlifting Championships in Belarus - Compete and utter shock! 

And now here we are!  Why all the background information you wonder, well, I need your help! As this was completely unexpected, I find myself in a little bit of a pickle regarding funding this trip to what to date is the most incredible thing to EVER happen to me.  An opportunity of a lifetime, because who gets to say that they were given the opportunity to represent their country, at anything really!!!!!! Which I hope you can understand why I cant say no and I cant decline this once in a lifetime opportunity just because of a little speedbump of insufficient funds.  So where does this leave us........ well for one, training will continue and I will be working harder than ever in preparation for Worlds, thats something I know I can do without batting an eyelid. But now I need your help, in raising funds to be able to fulfil this dream as I do not have the luxury of much time to raise funds, just a little over a month to be exact (end May I will need to start paying all the fees and air tickets etc).  Ok, so how much...... well there is no easy way to say it, but R25 000.00 is the approximate cost for the entire trip!!!!! OMG thats a lot of money, how did that happen....... Bullets again?:

  • R3500.00 - Competition Fee (Included Comp fee, doping fee, airport transfers
  • R8200.00 - Approx price of flights
  • R4000.00 - Accommodation 4 nights in Belarus (Approx EUR270.00)
  • R3000.00 - Meals (Approx EUR200.00)
  • R2300.00 - SA Team Kit (Tracksuit, Golf Shirt, Blazer and Tie
  • R4000.00 - IPF Approved Powerlifting Gear (Weight belt, Knee Sleeves & Wrist Straps)

So as you can see, Im in desperate need of help! - So now youve decided, let me help this poor girl realise her dreams of competing at an international level, but how can I help. Well.... ( oh no, here comes the bullets again)

  • Monetary donations - I cannot stress how even the smallest donation makes a huge difference and one step closer to realising this dream.
  • Fundraising opportunities/ideas - this is my first time so a little out of my depth here - and as they say, knowledge is power - so if you have any ideas or suggestions I would love to hear about them.
  • Raffle items - perhaps you have access or means of supplying items/services which could be used in a raffle - that is fantastic - people love to get involved for a good cause with the added advantage of perhaps walking away with something in return
  • Share Share Share this link - the more people that my plea reaches the better the opportunity for someone to help in one way or another

So there you have it, my little story of the most spectacular year to date and what I can only imagine is the start of great things to come.  Thank you for taking the time to read my story and for what ever help you may be able to provide.... most of all your support!  There is something amazing that comes from the knowledge that you have the support of those around you and is without a doubt, priceless!

You can follow me on facebook as well as Instagram to see how the training is progressing as well as updates from the event in June.

And so I leave you with words by Helen Keller -  ''Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much''

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