A Ballito mother-of-two will be heading to London in Aug-ust to represent South Africa in the Paralympic Games.
A car accident six years ago left Sandra Khumalo, 31, paralysed from the waist down, and the keen gym-goer initially struggled with getting around in a wheelchair.
But a yearning to get her independence back pushed Khumalo into the sport of competitive rowing.
Her prowess with the oars has since come on strong and she qualified for the Paralympic Games after winning silver at the final Paralympic qualification regatta in Belgrade, Serbia, this month.
“I see this as an opportunity to let my light shine, to make people see even when God puts you in a bad situation he can also put you in a good place in that situation,” said Khumalo, who works in reservations at uMhlanga’s Protea Hotel.
“My daughter, who is 11 months, doesn’t understand yet, but my 11-year-old is truly inspired by my achievements,” she said.
Khumalo said she had intially been nervous and intimidated during the qualifying.
“I didn’t know what to expect; I had butterflies in my stomach, but I knew that I had to bring my A-game to the table to make it – and I did.”
She said she had framed her silver medal and hung it proudly in her living room.
“I am going to start my own sporting corner to put pictures and medals of my sporting achievements,” she said.
Khumalo said it had been a long and hard road to recovery after the accident.
“After two years’ recovering I told myself there had to be more to life than working and watching TV,” said Khumalo.
She said at gym she built her upper body strength and when a friend at gym introduced her to rowing, she felt she had gained her “independence” once again. -Daily News