×

We've got news for you.

Register on TimesLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Unplugged by BBK

Salute to Tannie Ans, the wind beneath Wayde's wings

26 November 2017 - 00:00 By BARENG-BATHO KORTJAAS

While many her age line up in long queues at the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) collection points for their monthly pension grants, she is found on a track and field, training the best in the business of athletics.
While many her age are happy to position their posteriors on a rocking chair on the porch watching their grandchildren play without a care in the world, she is shaping a young South African into the best in the world in his business.
While many would be content with being ensconced in an old-age home crocheting blankets for 67 Minutes for Mandela Day, this septuagenarian will be crisscrossing the world watching her Wayde Dreamer break world records.
Please join me in giving plaudits, kudos, salutations (throw in your own hyperbolical expression of praise) to Anna Sofia "Tannie Ans" Botha, the wind beneath the wings of Wayde van Niekerk.There is a great possibility that you are still Bobalased from the hectic events that saw the nonagenarian north of the Limpopo River fall on his sword.
You may also be deurmekaar from all the gory details of Lynne "It Wasn't Me" Brown-sugar that played out in parliament in the reality show that is the Eskom inquiry.
Let me bring you up to speed with the news that filtered through from Friday night.
At the yearly International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) awards ceremony in Monaco, the 76-year-old, who has shaped the fortunes of top South African athletes for five decades, was honoured with the prestigious IAAF Coaching Achievement Award 2017.
That's no small feat for a fit as a fiddle great-grandmother who coaches our very own Olympics champion."Tannie Ans", as she is popularly known in sports circles, has made an immeasurable contribution to rocketing speedster Van Niekerk to the top echelons of international athletics.
"Dear Coach. Tannie Ans.
"No achievement shines brighter than Love and a Good heart.
"You deserve all the praise and recognition.
"Although that's never been or ever will be the motive.
"You're a Legend. #TannieAns," saluted Van Niekerk on Twitter.
"Tannie Ans" coaching career kicked off in the late 1960s, when she trained her children.
She expanded into identifying and developing talent in the southern African region.
As head coach at the University of the Free State since 1990, many rough-at-the-edges gems have been polished by her.
The most sparkling of them is Van Niekerk, who himself was also a nominee on the night of the IAAF awards...

Support the Sunday Times by buying a subscription.

You’ve always trusted us to help you navigate the world. Support the Sunday Times by becoming a premium member for only R80 (digital access) and keep the conversation going. You can cancel anytime.

Already subscribed? Sign in below.

Digital access for only R80



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@timeslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.