Home » Human Rights » Rebekah – the Little Girl With a Big Vision

While most kids her age are struggling to write their names at school, seven-year-old Rebekah Oberholzer is already a world champion in BMX racing, let alone writing her own piece of history by becoming the youngest ever Junior Sports Woman of the Year in 2014.

As young as she is, she has a trophy cabinet filled with at least 50 medals. She has clearly developed an insatiable appetite for world titles in her budding career.

Following her crowning moment at the UCI BMX World Championships in the girls 5-7 years category in Rotterdam, Netherlands last July, Oberholzer does not only seek to retain her coveted crown this July in Belgium, but she wants to keep it for the next seven years.

“This year I want to win the world title again and I think it very possible,” she told Standardsport during an enthralling interview on the sidelines of a practice session at the BMX Club in Harare last week.

Rebekah was in company of her elder brother Ben (9), a national and intercontinental champion who she always practices with, as well as trainer Tawanda Marova and mother Samantha.

Asked how many world championships she hopes to win Becky who seemed unperturbed talking to a journalist regardless her tender age posed for thought.

“How many mom?” looking at her mom beseechingly who in turn distanced herself from the discussion.

“About seven, I do not want to lose at any World Championship before I am fourteen so at least seven,” she said.

No one can ever be sure how seven-year-olds pick their best moments in a career, but Oberholzer’s favourite victory is astoundingly not the obvious one.

“My favourite victory in BMX so far was my first national,” she pointed out much to her mother’s astonishment.

“Becky [Rebekah], even better than the World championships?” Samantha interjected.

Remarkably, she was four-years-old when she won her maiden national title.

“It’s like I had not been into BMX for a long time. I did not know what to expect because I was racing against boys and I actually thought they were going beat me and I was very surprised when I won. So it was better than the world championship,” she defended her position.

While Oberholzer is basking in the glory of her success, she does not forget the person whom she believes is the reason why she has achieved so much thus far in so little time.

That person she looks up to locally is a person she has had the most fights with, probably her biggest ever rival in her young life and none other than her brother Ben.

She only had to point across the interview table answering a question about her BMX hero locally who in turn flushed at such honor coming for the unlikeliest of sources.

“He is the reason I am here,” she said.

Chipping in with valuable tips, Ben, according to Oberholzer, is the reason why she is able to compete against boys of her age and beat them and for his troubles, she promised to teach him how to glitter a helmet so that he looks better on the track.

It is remarkable for any girl to develop a passion for a grueling sport such as BMX racing.

For someone who sometimes does her homework at the tracks in between practice, where does the Chisipiti Jnr School Grade Three pupil get the determination to soldier on going even when the going gets tough?

“BMX is a very tiring sport but I manage because it’s just my thing,” she said.

For a mom like Samantha who was once a nationally acclaimed swimmer in her time, she would never have guessed that her only daughter would develop passion for such a masculine sport and better still become a world champion.

“She is a girl and you don’t really imagine your little coming into a male dominated sport especially here where there are very few girls. I thought she might get sick of it after a while but she really loves it very much,” said Samantha.

“I used to swim for Zimbabwe when I was young so I always thought that all my kids would become swimmers, I thought I would take them to swimming clubs but they got into this, they like swimming, they swim at school but BMX is their passion.

“She is also doing well at school. She won an academic prize last year as well as another one for general knowledge in her grade.”

Oberholzer whose other love is dancing, says one day she would want to compete at the Youth Olympics as well as hoist the Zimbabwean flag at the summer Olympic Games.

She is set to compete at the European Cup early April, then proceed to the British national series, before having a go at World Championship in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium in July.

With the support of father Albert, Samantha, Ben and the whole of Zimbabwe, Oberholzer can go on to reclaim her world title.

Source : Zimbabwe Standard

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