Jenny’s CV

CURRICULUM VITAE

NAME:                        Jennifer Anne Symons

DATE OF BIRTH:     20-02-61

DISABILITY:              Cerebral Palsy (Spastic/Athetoid) and Dystonia

DETAILS:                   Motor-movement section of brain damaged at birth, resulting in muscles being hyper-tense. Have problems with unco-ordinated movements and tremendous spasms, when body goes absolutely rigid. Spent 14 years at Vista Nova School for Cerebral Palsied children, receiving Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy. Left after completing Std. 6 (Junior School – as far as the school went at that time).

 

SPORTING CAREER

SPORTING CLASSIFICATION:

C.P. Class 2 (for Field & Track Events) and S2 (for Swimming).

SPORTING ACHIEVEMENTS:

Member of the Western Province Team (to participate in the South African Championships For Physically Disabled) from 1978 – 2005

1984: Selected for Springbok Team. Competed in Israel. Won gold medal for 25m Freestyle. Broke Record set at Paralympics. Broke World Record in Shot Put.

1986: Broke 2 S.A. Records – 60m Wheelchair Dash & Wheelchair Slalom. Broke 2 World Records – Shot Put & Club-throwing.

1987: Won 4 gold, 3 silver medals, broke 2 World Records & 1 S.A. Record at the S.A. Championships For Physically Disabled. At the Closing Ceremony I was awarded 3 Trophies: Outstanding Performance In Track Events By a C.P. Athlete; Best (Overall) Performance By A C.P. Athlete; Sportsman/woman Of The Year

1988: Won 3 gold, 4 silver medals, broke 1 S.A. Record at the S.A. Championships For Physically Disabled. Selected as a member of The Dairy Board Invitation Team to compete in Prestige Athletics Meeting during the Championships. Won silver medal for Shot Put.

1989: Won 7 gold, 1 silver medal. Broke 2 World Records, 1 S.A. Record, established 2 S.A. Records in new events. Awarded Springbok Colours for Swimming and Athletics. At the Prestige Athletics Meeting on the 3rd April the Springbok Team competed against a Dairy Board Invitation Team. I competed in Shot Put and won the gold medal. At the Closing Ceremony I was awarded the: VIC PEARSON FLOATING TROPHY / S.A. PARAPLEGIC GAMES ASS. / BEST SWIMMER / LADIES

1990: I was awarded the OWEN HORWOOD / SPORTS MERIT AWARD / 1989 by the South African Sports Association For Physically Disabled.

1991: Won 8 gold & 1 silver medal. Broke 2 S.A. Records, and established 4 S.A. Records in new events. Part of T.V. Documentary for M-NET.

1992: Won 7 gold & 2 silver medals at the S.A. Championships. Broke 3 S.A. Records.

1993: Won 4 gold, 1 silver medal. Broke World Record in Shot Put & S.A. Record in 50m Freestyle. Selected as a member of the Springbok Team to compete in The Robin Hood International Games For Cerebral Palsied Athletes from 2nd – 9th August in Nottingham, England. 30 Countries represented, 620 athletes competed. Robin Hood Games : Competed in 3 events – 50m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke & Shot Put. Results: 50m Freestyle: 2nd place – silver medal / 50m Backstroke : 1st place (no medal, as it was a non-medal event) /  Shot Put : 1st place – gold medal – new World Record. South Africa (with 8 athletes) came 10th out of 30 countries.

1994: Won 3 gold medals, and broke 2 S.A. Records at South African Swimming Championships For Physically Disabled in Kimberley on the 11th & 12th March. Competed in 50m Freestyle, 50m Backstroke & 100m Freestyle. Broke S.A. Records in 50m Freestyle & 50m Backstroke. Won 1 gold medal, and broke World Record in Shot Put at the South African Field & Track Championships For Physically Disabled, held in Boksburg on the 22nd & 23rd April. Presented with medal from the Mayor of Boksburg, due to the fact that I broke a World Record. Was awarded the Floating Trophy – “Outstanding Performance In Field Events By A Cerebral Palsied Athlete : Class 1 – Class 4”. Selected as a member of the South African Team to participate in the International Paralympic Committee World Athletics Championships, to be held in Berlin, Germany, from 18th – 31st July. May : Selected as a member of the South African “Shadow” Team to compete in the International Paralympic Committee World Swimming Championships, to be held in Malta from 31st October – 9th November. 9th June: Withdrew from South African Team to compete in Berlin, due to a lack of competitors with my degree of Cerebral Palsy – Class C2. 19th July: Selected as a member of the South African Swimming Team to compete in the International Paralympic Committee World Swimming Championships, to be held in Malta from 31st October – 9th November. 2nd – 8th November: Competed in 1st International Paralympic Committee World Swimming Championships in Malta. Participated in 3 events – 50m Freestyle, 100m Freestyle & 50m Backstroke. Results: 50m Freestyle: 3rd place – bronze medal (broke S.A. Record by 5 seconds) 50m Backstroke : 3rd place – bronze medal (broke S.A. Record by 2 seconds). 100m Freestyle : 8th place (broke S.A. Record by 52 seconds)

1995: Won 4 gold medals and broke 1 S.A. Record at South African Championships For Physically Disabled.

2005: Won gold medal in Boccia Pairs at S.A. Championships For Physically Disabled.

Number of medals won in South African Competitions since 1978:

67 Gold, 23 Silver, 5 Bronze. Total: 95

Number of medals won in International Competitions:

2 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze. Total: 5

1996 – 2004: Nine-year break from Sport due to a freak accident which tore all chest, stomach and back muscles. Muscles will never heal fully due to my degree of Spaticity.

2004: May: Started playing Boccia at St. Giles Sports Club. Saturday 30 October : Elected Boccia Convenor for W.P.S.A.P.D. Saturday 13 November : Organized and competed in 1st W.P.S.A.P.D. Boccia Championships. Came 1st in my Class, 3rd Overall.

2005:  March: Competed as a member of the W.P. Team at the S.A. National Championships For Physically Disabled in Durban. Won a Gold Medal in Boccia Class BC 3 Pairs. I was re-Classified. My Primary Classification is C.P. Class 1. My Boccia Classification is BC 3.

SPORTING GOALS :

To represent South Africa in International Competition again.

PERSONAL GOALS :

To live as independantly as possible.

 PUBLICITY AND PERSONAL GOALS

1989: Thursday 28th September – Friday 27th October : Travelled alone to Australia (via Johannesburg, Bulawayo, Harare and Perth before reaching Sydney) to meet 2 pen-friends. Was given an Official Reception at the South African Consulate in Sydney. Also met John Denver. Addressed 2 Lions’ Club Meetings.

Thursday 20th April: Article in Constantiaberg Bulletin. Title: “Plumstead Champ Breaks World Swimming Record”.

14th June: Article in Tyger-Burger (in Afrikaans). Title: “Mikro-rekenaar Help Gestremdes Om Te Kommunikeer” (Translation: “Micro-computers Help Disabled To Communicate”).

1990: September: Sold article on trip to Australia to “FEMINA” magazine.

1991: Friday 19th July : Had interview with Heather Dugmore of “PERSONALITY” magazine. Published in their 19th August edition -Title : “Don’t Treat Me Like A Moron!”.

Wednesday 20th November: Met Ian Botham, Fred Trueman, Dicky Bird and John Edrich.

Thursday 28th November : Write-up in Southern Argus.

Photograph with Ian Botham and John Denver.

Wednesday 4th December : Photograph in Table Talk with Diane Davey and Mr. Conradie (Tableview Lions).

1992: Article on trip to Australia published in April edition of “FEMINA” magazine. Title: “EVERYDAY HEROES”. Write-up in Constantiaberg Bulletin.

27th July – 19th August: Sold tickets (over the phone) for Breakfast to launch of Cerebral Palsy Awareness Week from 24th – 29th August.

1993: Thursday 15th April: Article in Constantiaberg Bulletin – “A Triumph Over Odds”.

Thursday 27th May: Photo in Constantiaberg Bulletin.

Thursday 24th June: Photo in Constantiaberg Bulletin with Ian and Judy Seymour. Article: “Rotary To Help Jenny”.

Thursday 5th July: Photo and article in Cape Times – “Jenny For Nottingham”.

Sunday 15th August: Photo and article on how the 3 Western Province athletes did at the Robin Hood Games.

1994: Thursday 25th August: Article in Constantiaberg Bulletin with photo of Ian Seymour and I. Article: “Jenny’s World Record”.

Wednesday 21st September: Article in Peninsula Times with photo of Ian Seymour, Dionne Schreuder and I. Article: “Jenny Is Off To Malta”.

Sunday 23rd October: Article in Sunday edition of the Weekend Argus – “Jenny Has Beaten The Odds To Triumph”.

Saturday 26th November: Article in Saturday edition of the Weekend Argus – “Symons Wins Bronze In Malta”.

1995: Thursday 9th February: Interview with Hilary Mauve of Constantiaberg Bulletin.

Thursday 23rd February: Article in Constantiaberg Bulletin – “Sporting Star Defeats The Odds”.

Thursday 20th April: Article in Constantiaberg Bulletin – “Four Golds For Jenny”.

Tuesday 24th October: Met the Springbok Rugby Team at the Cape Sun Hotel.

1996: Saturday 17th February : Elected as a member of the Committee for “Inclusive Education In the Western Cape”.

Tuesday 5th March: Member of delegation to meet Dr. Theron, Head of Education Department, to discuss Inclusive Education.

Saturday 6th April – Saturday 22nd June : Left Cape Town for 3-month holiday with a friend in New Zealand. Travelled alone for 26 hours, coping not only with the flight but with 3 stop-overs (Johannesburg, Perth, Sydney) before reaching Auckland.

Saturday 2nd November: 5km Fun Run in aid of Red Cross Childrens Hospital. Marchel van Acker pushed me. Time: 27 minutes.

1997: Saturday 8th February: Federated Timbers Half Marathon. Marchel van Acker pushed me. Time: 2:01.

Sunday 23rd February: Old Mutual Cape Town Marathon. Marchel van Acker pushed me. Time: 4:26.11.

Wednesday 14th May: Interviewed by Anna Boshoff for “SIPHIWE” to be screened on S.A.B.C. T.V.1.

Saturday 21st June: Appeared on “SIPHIWE” on S.A.B.C. T.V.1.

1999: Thursday 10th June: Photo in Constantiaberg Bulletin of the presentation of a motorized wheelchair to me by Kirstenbosch Lions’ Club.

July/August: Article in Ackermans Magazine A.C.K. entitled: “A Woman’s Will To Win”.

Tuesday 24th August: Interviewed (live) on Radio C.C.F.M.

Friday 26th November: Dad and I attended the Unveiling Ceremony of a plaque, followed by a lunch, commemorating the 60th Anniversary of Alex Henshaw’s Solo Flight from London to Cape Town. We met and spoke to Victor Smith, the guest of honour representing Alex Henshaw.

2000: Saturday 5th February – Friday 10th March: Left Cape Town for 5-week holiday with a friend in New Zealand. Travelled alone for 23 ½ hours, coping not only with the flight but with 3 stop-overs (Johannesburg, Perth, Sydney) before reaching Auckland.

Thursday 15th June: Interviewed for “Oilmag” – Teenage Internet Magazine.

2003: February : Left Cape Town for 5-week holiday in New Zealand. Travelled alone for 23 ½ hours, coping not only with the flight but with 3 stop-overs (Johannesburg, Perth, Sydney) before reaching Auckland.

COMPUTING EXPERIENCE

Qualified word-processor operator. Was one of several disabled persons to set up a business called “INDECOMP” (Independent Computing). Used IBM-compatible computer at “INDECOMP”, with the “MULTIMATE” programme. Resigned in June 1988.

Uses an IBM-compatible computer with a programme called “PENFRIEND” at home as a ‘writing aid’.

Has been featured in a South African-made documentary on “INTERFACE – TOTAL COMMUNICATION FOR DISABLED”.

PUBLIC SPEAKING

1985: First National Conference of “INTERFACE – TOTAL COMMUNICATION FOR DISABLED”.

1987: Workshop entitled “Introduction To Computers” as part of the “Disabled People South Africa” Congress.

Lions’ Clubs Meetings. Talks to parents at schools for Cerebral Palsied.

1989: Addressed 2 Lions’ Clubs Meetings in N.S.W., Australia.

1992: Monday 24th August : Spoke at Breakfast to launch C.P. Awareness Week (held at Captain Granger’s Restaurant, Mouille Point).

Tuesday 6th October : Spoke to Rotary Club, Constantia.

1993: Friday 3rd September : Spoke to “IN TOUCH” (Post-Matric)

Youth Group at Plumstead Methodist Church. Involved Duncan Henning (Swimming Coach).

1994: Friday 3rd June : Ran Workshop for Youth Group (ages 8 – 12 years) at Constantia Assemblies Of God Church. Involved Duncan Henning (Swimming Coach) and Jenni & Albert Tredoux (friends).

Wednesday 20th July : Lectured to 3rd-year Occupational Therapy Students at Groote Schuur Hospital. Involved Dionne Schreuder (Assistant Manager and Gym Instructor) at N1 Health & Racquet Club.

Wednesday 3rd August : Addressed 60 Std. 9 pupils at Sans Souci Girls’ High School. Involved Dionne Schreuder (Assistant Manager and Gym Instructor) at N1 Health & Racquet Club.

Wednesday 19th October: A member of a panel discussion at the “Enabling Technology” Seminar, organized by Computing For Disabled Persons.

1995: Wednesday 21st February: Addressed 60 “Interact” pupils at Plumstead High School.

Wednesday 14th June: Addressed approximately 60 people at Southern Life.

Friday 28th July: Lectured to 3rd-year Occupational Therapy Students at Groote Schuur Hospital.

1996: Thursday 1st February: Addressed 60 Standard 4 pupils at Herzlia Primary School.

Friday 23rd February: Addressed 450 pupils at Sans’ Souci Girls’ High School.

Wednesday 20th March: Addressed pupils at Jan van Riebeek High School.

Friday 18th October: Addressed pupils at The Jewish Academy.

Thursday 31st October: Addressed Sub A and Sub B pupils at Oakdale Primary School.

1997: Friday 7th February: Addressed 80 Std. 4 pupils at Herzlia Primary School.

Wednesday 2nd July: Addressed the Milnerton Probus Club.

Tuesday 5th August: Addressed the Plumstead Study Circle.

Wednesday 13th August: Addressed 60 Std. 9 & 10 pupils at Good Hope Seminary High School.

Wednesday 20th August: Addressed 40 Std. 8 pupils at Good Hope Seminary High School.

1999: Wednesday 27th January: Addressed 60 members of the Womens’ Agricultural Association.

Thursday 11th March: PACSEN (Inclusive Education For Disabled Children) A.G.M.

Thursday 15th April: Kirstenbosch Lions Club.

2000: Wednesday 26th July: Lectured to 70 3rd-year Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy students at Groote Schuur Hospital.

Thursday 31st August: Gave Motivational Speech to 130 people at “Integrity Incorporated” Seminar on “Disabled People In The Workplace and the Community” in Bloemfontein. Standing ovation.

Friday 1st September: Gave Motivational Speech to 300 pupils at St. Andrews High School, Bloemfontein. Standing ovation.

Wednesday 4th October: Gave Motivational Speech to 500 Girls at Eunice Primary School, Bloemfontein. Standing ovation.

Gave Motivational Speech to 40+ Occupational Therapy students at University Of Orange Free State.

Thursday 5th October: Gave Motivational Speech to 40+ Managers of Edgars Stores in the Free State.

Gave Motivational Speech to 500+ Girls at St. Michael’s High School in Bloemfontein. Standing ovation.

Gave Motivational Speech to 20+ Members of Bloemfontein Rotary Club. Standing ovation.

Friday 6th October: Gave Motivational Speech to 250+ Boys at St. Andrew’s Primary School, Bloemfontein. Standing ovation.

Gave Motivational Speech to 179 Principals attending a Conference For Headmasters at Navalsig High School, Bloemfontein. Standing ovation.

2001: Tuesday 26th June : The Breakfast Club, Cape Town.

Monday 3rd September : Spoke to approximately 20 Grade 11 (Std. 9) pupils at Herschel School with Shirley Elvey.

Monday 8th October : Guest Of Honour at Plumstead High School Awards Dinner.

2002:  Monday 28th January : Lectured to 30 3rd-year Occupational Therapy Students at Groote Schuur.

Friday 22nd February : Addressed Christian Brothers College (C.B.C.) Principal’s Conference in Stellenbosch.

Tuesday 3rd December : International Day Of Disabled – Addressed 250 staff-members at Old Mutual.

2004:  Thursday 5th August : Addressed +/- 250 pupils at Sweet Valley Primary School.

Find out more by reading the book outline for Jenny’s autobiography: “Never give up”

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *