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Turning a Disability to an ABILITY- Get to Know Tyrone Pillay

February 28, 2021

BASI Live! Conversations with Tali and Tyrone the Paralympian

On February 3, 2021, BASI Faculty and all-around powerhouse Tali Hanoch interviewed Tyrone Pillay, a South African strong man and Paralympian. Their friendship was on full display as Tali asked Tyrone, thoughtful yet provoking questions. Everyone on that Zoom call left feeling inspired. Learn who Tyrone is in his own words:

Profile

I am an aspiring disabled sportsman participating in athletics. I am categorized as an above-knee amputee (F63), a condition I was born with. At present, I am working with a company called Icexpress Prosthetics to create a prosthetic foot that will improve my performance, thereby allowing me the opportunity to compete at the highest level.

My current event is shot put; I believe participating in both these events will increase my opportunity to represent South Africa at the Paralympics.

Hard work & determination are my core personality traits. I believe that it is these two traits that will help me reach my goal of being a Paralympian.

My inspiration stems from the fact that I know that I can make a difference in many people’s lives by showing that there are no obstacles in life & that you can overcome anything if you have the will to succeed.

I plan to participate in 3 IPC GrandPrix international series events and the SA Nationals in order to obtain the qualifying standards for the South African team to compete in the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.

Background

I was born on 01 May 1980, in Durban, South Africa. I was born with an abnormality of the left foot, thus resulting in the need for a prosthetic foot to assist me with walking. I have been using a prosthetic foot for the past 30 years.

I completed my schooling at Reservoir Hills Secondary in Durban and completed my tertiary education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal..

Since an early age, I have been actively participating in many codes of sport. Athletics has always been a passion of mine, from my early days at school to my current. It was only after the Beijing Olympics that I realized my calling for competing as a disabled athlete.

I spent the last year doing basic technical training coupled with extensive weight training & plyometric training. I was granted the opportunity to participate in the KZN trials, where I qualified to represent KZN at the SA National Championships in Port Elizabeth in Shotput and Discus. This championship was the first time I ever competed as a disabled athlete and was a huge moment in my young athletics career.

Upon being selected into the KZN team, I started coaching the junior athletes within the KZN team. I believe that my positive influence and technical knowledge would help the young athletes of tomorrow achieve their dreams of one day representing South Africa and going onto achieving gold medals at the future Olympic Games. This is one of the motivating factors that drive me to perform at the highest level so that I can give back to the community. I feel my experience and exposure to international athletics would be of great value to our up-and-coming athletes.

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