Thank you for following my fundraising link,
My name is Jason Visser, I'm 15 years old and I have a dream...
I have dreamt of representing South Africa in international fencing since I took up the sport 8 years ago. I've worked hard and have always enjoyed the support of my family and friends and great guidance from my coach. In fencing, you are allowed to compete in your own age-group, and one age-group up, which is U17 in my case, and which is also the youngest age-group in which you can qualify to compete internationally.
In the beginning of 2019 I asked my parents if it would be possible to allow me this opportunity, should I qualify, and after discussion with my coach, it was agreed that my parents will endeavor to send me on such a trip, but there was conditions. I had to achieve the No 1 or No 2 ranking in U17, which makes sense - why try to compete on the international stage if I'm not at least at the top of the national rankings. I also had to help with the fund-raising, since the first international trip for a fencer is double as costly due to equipment/kit requirements.
I've always worked hard and have achieved Provincial Colors for the past 7 years, but I had to up my dedication and with hard work by both myself, guidance from my coach and support from family, I've achieved the No 1 ranking spot 5 days before the national team to the Junior African Championships was announced. Looking at it now, this was probably the easy part, since the estimated cost of the trip (entry, flights and accommodation) alone, was R18,000-R22,000. In addition, I needed a whole kit replacement, since one cannot compete in international competitions without FIE (International Fencing Federation) certified kit (clothing and weapons).
My entry-level kit costs R14,800 (plus R2,400 import tax = R17,200) and the national track-suit costs R620. Apart from this total R39,820, there remain small amounts for equipment spares and additional spare weapons, but my coach is helping with these.
My whole world doesn't revolve around fencing and I try to exercise a balance between sport, academics and leisure. I've been fortunate to achieve 8 distinctions in my final Grade 9 exam in 2019 and also belong to various extra-curricular clubs, but it would be a dream come true to don the national colors and to step onto the field of play (piste) at the Junior African Championships at the end of February 2020.
Dear reader, if it is at all possible for you to make a contribution towards alleviating some of this financial burden from my parents, I would be eternally grateful to you.
Thank you for your time and taking an interest.