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Natalie du ToitLocation: Based in Johannesburg
Natalie du Toit is one of the most successful disabled athletes of all times, and an inspiration to many. She is one of the most recognisable faces and names in sport and public life in South Africa.
Having competed at the Kuala Lumpur Games in 1998 as an able bodied athlete at the age of 14, she lost her leg in a motorcycle accident in 2001. Despite this setback, she was determined to compete at the Manchester Games both as an able bodied and disabled competitor just to prove it could be done. She achieved her goal, swimming into a creditable eighth place in the able bodied 800m Freestyle, and winning gold in the 50 and 100m Elite Athletes with a Disability (EAD) events.
In May 2008 Natalie became the first athlete in history to qualify for both the Olympic (for able-bodied athletes) and the Paralympic Games in the same year, when qualifying for the 10km open water race at the open water world championships in Seville.
Natalie's story has become an inspiration for many people in South Africa and all over the world. She shares her life's journey with audiences in a candid, informal way that is both riveting and motivational. Finding time in her busy training schedule is not easy, but she is available to schools, companies and other groups who may benefit from her talks.
SUMMARY OF NATALIE'S SPEECH
Everyone goes through good and bad times in life. However, we always tend to focus on the good things and celebrate them; we ignore the bad things, which unfortunately often end up hindering us. My story is a personal journey of how I have learnt to face my good and bad situations and deal with it in a manner that I understand would be the best.
What I have done (and are still busy doing) to overcome my adversity and the lessons I’ve learned along the way, I believe holds true regardless of your age, sex, race, religion, nationality or financial standing. It all comes from self-belief - an exceptionally powerful tool, if we could just learn how to use it correctly every day.
- Guest speaker
- Corporate facilitation
- Celebrity guest
Awards & Distinctions
The titles and awards Natalie has received are too numerous to mention. Highlights include:
Major sporting achievements
- 3 Gold medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games
- 50 m S9 freestyle swimming gold medal – Paralympics (2008)
- 400 m S9 freestyle swimming gold medal – Paralympics (2008)
- 200 m SM9 individual medley swimming gold medal – Paralympics (2008)
- 100 m S9 freestyle swimming gold medal – Paralympics (2008)
- 100 m S9 butterfly swimming gold medal – Paralympics (2008)
- 100 m freestyle swimming EAD (multi-disability) gold – Commonwealth Games (2006)
- 50 m freestyle swimming EAD (multi-disability) gold – Commonwealth Games (2006)
- 100 m S9 backstroke swimming silver medal – Paralympics (2004)
- 100 m S9 butterfly swimming gold medal – Paralympics (2004)
- 100 m S9 freestyle swimming gold medal – Paralympics (2004)
- 200 m SM9 individual medley swimming gold medal – Paralympics (2004)
- 400 m S9 freestyle swimming gold medal – Paralympics (2004)
- 50 m S9 freestyle swimming gold medal – Paralympics (2004)
- 800 m freestyle swimming gold medal – All-Africa Games (2003)
- 800 m freestyle swimming silver medal – Afro-Asian Games (2003)
- 400 m freestyle swimming bronze medal – Afro-Asian Games (2003)
- 100 m freestyle swimming EAD (multi-disability) gold – Commonwealth Games (2002)
- 50 m freestyle swimming EAD (multi-disability) gold – Commonwealth Games (2002)
Open water titles
Vista Nova Robben Island crossing - winner of female category since race inception, and overall winner in 2008, beating strong male competition by more than 5 minutes.
Awards and Honours
- October 2013: honorary MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire)
- David Dixon Award for outstanding athlete – Commonwealth Games (2002)
- In August 2002 she was awarded the Western Cape Golden Cross. During the award ceremony Western Cape Premier Marthinus van Schalkwyk said she had gone “beyond gold and swam her way into the hearts of not only South Africans but the whole world”.
- Du Toit was voted 48th in the Top 100 Great South Africans in 2004 by the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
- In December 2009 she received the Order of Ikhamanga in Gold “for her exceptional achievements in swimming.”
- On 10 March, 2010, she was awarded the Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability for “breaking down the barriers between disabled and able-bodied sport”
Media coverage include:
- Telkom Splash
- Super Sport coverage of Olympic Games etc
- Super swimmer advertisement on Super Sport
- All major newspapers, magazines, etc
- Numerous Public appearances [motivational speaking]
- Proudly South Africa Advertisement on SABC 1, 2, 3
- SABC 3 The Power Within
Thank you again for your kind assistance in making the event a huge success. Bronwen was very impressed with your professionalism and thoroughly enjoyed working with you on the project. Colleen put together an unforgettable event in terms of the 5 star ‘green’ venue, a mouth-watering lunch and precision coordination of all logistics. We were also blessed with a beautiful summer day which was topped off with the AWESOME talk from Natalie! We’ve had some great motivational speakers in the past, but never before has a speaker managed to captivate and move the audience on such a deep heartfelt emotional level. Natalie’s warmth, passion, spirit, genuine humanness, and ‘never-give-up attitude’ came through in every word and had a truly profound effect on all who were honoured to listen to her story.
Pedro Roberts, ACSA
It was awesome and Natlaie was amazing!! We had very good feedback from the business on the programme as a whole and on Natalie herself. Thank you so much for all your support throughout the process!
Ridha Jones, Old Mutual
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