South Africa’s javelin throwing pastor Rocco van Rooyen is off to Tokyo to compete in the Olympics. Photo: Supplied
South Africa’s javelin throwing pastor Rocco van Rooyen is off to Tokyo to compete in the Olympics. Photo: Supplied

Javelin throwing pastor gets his Tokyo Olympics miracle

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jul 27, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - A South African pastor competing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo will not have to worry about his financial responsibilities after securing a sponsor at the last minute.

Lottoland SA have given assistance to javelin thrower Rocco van Rooyen, who is currently in Japan preparing to compete at the Tokyo Olympics.

Van Rooyen, who works as a pastor, had to take several weeks of unpaid weeks during the year in order to prepare for the Olympics, and would not have been able to meet his financial commitments without financial assistance.

“I am so grateful to Lottoland,” an ecstatic Van Rooyen said after receiving the assistance to travel to Tokyo.

“Thanks to this sponsorship, I will not have the worry and financial strain of creating debt to keep up payments for fixed expenses back home during the weeks that I will not be earning a salary,” he said.

Maryke Haywood, head of marketing at Lottoland said they were happy to assist Van Rooyen in his pursuit of an Olympic medal.

“It’s a privilege for us to extend a helping hand to an athlete as talented as Rocco and we wish him everything of the best in the Olympics,” said Haywood.

“He’s got the nation behind him and deserves the financial support that enables him to represent our country on this prestigious international platform. South Africa will be watching.”

Earlier this year Van Rooyen, who is ranked as one of the top 5 athletes in South Africa, financed his own trip to compete in Finland in preparation for the Olympics. There he notched up a second and third place in two international competitions respectively.

Although his personal best is recorded as 87.62m, his dream for the 2021 Olympics is to throw at least his season’s best of 85.97m, which should bring an Olympic medal home to South Africa.

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