Star Soutpansberg Para-athlete Sheryl James, who just returned from Dubai with another two medals under her belt. Photo supplied.

Sheryl adds more medals to her tally in Dubai

Date: 23 February 2024 By: Andries van Zyl

A group of South African athletes travelled to Dubai last week to compete in the first international competition of the new season’s build-up to the 2024 Paralympics in Paris. Among them was local T37 athlete, Sheryl James.

After day one of the competition was postponed because of blinding lightning, heavy thunderstorms, and a flooded track, the events got underway on Tuesday, 13 February. South Africa’s athletes performed very well, returning with several medals, although the condition of the track was not conducive to many records.

Sheryl competed in two events, bagging medals in both (bronze in the women’s 400m and a silver in the 200m). She said she was satisfied with the start of her season and looked forward to her next competition, which will be the SASAPD National Championships in Bloemfontein in March, when she will join a Limpopo provincial team comprising 60 para-athletes and goalball players.

Mum Sandy and dad Chris James, also from Louis Trichardt, are very proud of their daughter’s achievements. To celebrate her remarkable journey, Sandy and Sheryl launched a website called "Unbridling".

“Thirty-eight years ago, she and I should have been dead ... I lay blue on the operating table, and she unborn, still in my womb. Miraculously, we were pulled through. Our blog aims to share not only Sheryl's journey but the paths taken by others in the quest to embrace ability rather than disability,” said Mum Sandy. She also added that it highlights how inclusive change is possible through sport and education and shares exciting snippets of news about their Jumping Kids project and other ventures.

“Please take a look, and if you have time, we'd love to hear what you think,” said Sandy. To visit their website, go to



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Andries van Zyl

Andries joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in April 1993 as a darkroom assistant. Within a couple of months he moved over to the production side of the newspaper and eventually doubled as a reporter. In 1995 he left the newspaper group and travelled overseas for a couple of months. In 1996, Andries rejoined the Zoutpansberger as a reporter. In August 2002, he was appointed as News Editor of the Zoutpansberger, a position he holds until today.


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