File picture: Courtney Africa/African News Agency(ANA)

Pretoria – Just hours after winning a gold medal at the SA Trampoline Championship at the University of Cape Town on Saturday, gymnast Reghard Vorster became a hero to one little girl after saving her life.

The 14-year Reghard executed the perfect routine ensuring he won gold in his category. It was the breakthrough performance he dreamt about.

Still, on a high, he went to cool down the afternoon at a resort in Melkbosstrand. While swimming, he noticed a young girl playing in the smaller pool. He could see that she was slightly nervous as she was holding on to the pool's side. After he had finished swimming, she was gone.

"I did not think much about it. Out of curiosity, I went to the smaller pool to see if the water was warmer. I saw the girl at the bottom. At first, I thought she was playing, seeing how long she can stay under the water but then noticed she was not moving at all. Not even her feet were moving.

"The adrenaline took over. I immediately dived in. When I grabbed the girl, her body was totally limp. Her brother was on hand to help pull her onto the side of the pool. I knew she was in trouble, so I started doing cardiopulmonary resuscitation as I could feel no pulse.

"Not far from the pool there was a wedding going on. I told the brother to go there and find out whether there might be a doctor among the guests. Luckily there was."

On Wednesday, Reghard received the news that the girl is going to be fine.

"There is something special knowing that you were able to play a small part in helping save someone's life. I am grateful for doing a first aid course last year during a Landsdiens Camp. If it were not for it, I possibly would not have been able to help the girl.

“Personally, I think it would be a good thing if more youngsters take the time to learn first aid as you never know when you are going to be faced with a life and death situation."

Reghard's dream is one day to be a brain surgeon, but before that, he also has goals of representing South Africa at the Olympic Games. He fully realises that it is going to take long, hard hours, but he is up for the challenge.

"My biggest challenge at the moment is to get stronger in my legs as I need to get higher up into the air to able to execute more somersaults and twists. At the moment, I can do two somersaults during a routine, but in our sport, it is all about the degree of difficulty.” 

African News Agency (ANA)