PUMA SCHOOL OF SPEED: HENRICHO BRUINTJIES Q&A
- What does it mean to be named Usain Bolt’s Vice Principal in the PUMA School of Speed? It is really a big privilege to represent PUMA, one of the biggest brands in track and field. It is an even bigger privilege to be named Vice Principal of the School of Speed and to work alongside a guy like Usain Bolt.
- Why do you think School of Speed is a good thing for SA athletics? The School of Speed is great news for South Africa, not just for athletics but for all youth who want to be a superstar in anything in life. It will motivate more youngsters to stay in track and field and stay away from negative things. It is a symbol of hope for the youth and for athletics in South Africa.
- How will you use your role as Vice Principal to boost young sprinters in SA? I come from a difficult background, so I want my role as Vice Principal to show kids that no matter where you come from you can succeed in anything you want.
- How important was winning the 100m title at the national championships in April 2016? It was very important for me to win this year seeing that the national senior championships were hosted in Cape Town, my home town. I ran in front of the people who have seen me grow in athletics from a very young age. Most importantly my family was there and it was great to have them watch me run and win.
- Besides competing, what else makes a major championship experience so special for an athlete? Ha Ha … well I would say the people you meet, the friends you make, the positive atmosphere and the opportunity to travel the world and experience different cultures.
- You are active on Twitter and Facebook – why should fans follow you? What does @henrichob offer them in terms of content – images, inspirational thoughts etc? I am active on social media to keep my supportors in tune, to give them a glimpse behind the scenes and into what it takes to make it. I post pictures when I travel or when I am at home, videos from training and some of my races and sometimes inspirational quotes about what it takes to make it. I want people to follow me to see what I really do and the amount of work I put in daily.
- Were you always a fast runner – even in junior school? Ha Ha … no I was not always the fastest kid around the block in my junior years. I was beaten several times, but that never put me down. I have always been a kid with a big heart who puts in the work needed to improve my speed and times. My mom always told me to be patient and put my faith in God.
- When did you know you had the ability to be a world class sprinter and make that your focus? I have always known I had the ability to be a great sprinter, but when I won the u/23 national championships in 2013 I knew that was the beginning of something special – that I am capable of accomplishing anything I put my mind to, such as becoming a world class sprinter.
- How come you are able to get faster each year – what do you do to make this happen? I put in the work every day and the results speak for themselves. My routine is training 9 times a week and that includes track sessions, my gym sessions and recovery sessions.
- What are your strengths, besides natural talent? I am mentally and physically strong and very confident in my ability.
- What does being part of the PUMA family mean to you – knowing the likes of Usain Bolt are wearing the exact same training and racing shoes? Being a part of the PUMA family means a lot to me, they believe in my dream and ability to make it come true. They are great people to work with and make sure that you are well taken care of and have everything necessary to perform at your best. Knowing that other well known athletes are part of the PUMA family shows me that they know exactly what they are doing and know how to treat their athletes.
- Which spikes do you race in? I run in PUMA evoSPEED Sprint v6 spikes. They are comfortable, light and have an easy fit.