All-star shot put athlete: Tuane Silver
“I still dream of being the best, but the key difference is that now I am working to be the best; it’s not just a dream anymore. It’s my future.”
Tuane Silver, an 18-year-old grade 12 learner at Curro Windhoek Gymnasium Private School, born in Boksburg, South Africa, is Namibia’s senior national shot put record-breaker.
Silver’s love for shot put started at Barberton Primary School, South Africa. She moved to Namibia at the age of 10 and lived in Tsumeb before moving to Windhoek in 2018.
“From the first moment I stepped into the circle, I fell in love with it,” Silver explains.
Her official journey as an athlete commenced in 2014 when she competed in the South African School Championships, an event that made her dedicate her energy to reaching great heights in this career.
“The second I stepped off that track, I told my parents that I would be the best one day, and since that day I have worked and trained to become the best I could possibly be.”
Her promising shot put career has presented Silver with major achievements, including becoming the title holder of the national junior champion for seven consecutive years since 2016.
A rollercoaster ride would be a good analogy to use when describing her sports career. According to Silver, everything goes according to plan on one day, when she feels awake and fantastic, trains and performs well.
The next day, however, she feels as though she has never done any of it before.
Nevertheless, persistency and determination thrive within her, contributing to her current success as the senior national champion title holder for the fifth time running.
She continues to be a force to be reckoned with as she currently holds the distinction of having broken every junior shot put record from ages u12 up to u18, in addition to breaking the senior national record four times this year and six times overall.
• Senior national record holder
• 5th place finish at u20 World Championships
• Ranked 11th u20 in the world
• Senior national champion
• Junior national champion
• Junior national record holder
• 6th place finish at the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) Senior African ChampionshipsSilver is currently working towards her 2023 goal of throwing a distance of 17.5m as well as to qualify for the u20 African Championships, and, importantly, the 2024 Olympics.
However, achieving goals requires a dedicated training routine, which includes a 1h30min strength and conditioning session accompanied by time on the track and throwing sessions.
“What I do during my sessions depends on the day of the week, as well as how I feel that day. Then I do my drills and some speed work,” she says.
Like most athletes, Silver has suffered injuries during her career, but has managed to turn these challenges into lessons.
She suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury (ACL), which resulted in a halt in her training and performance sessions. Silver quickly learned that her life cannot only revolve around shot put and that small injuries have to be treated effectively.
The importance of discipline and listening to your body has become very important to her.
“Greatness takes time, and I feel I have grown a tremendous amount as a person. But the personal growth I have experienced around handling my injuries is what I am most proud of.”
• I tore my hamstring last year, which made training more difficult for a couple of months.
• I had an ACL reconstruction just before pre-season 2019.
• Another challenge I faced was not being able to compete in the senior group in 2020 because I had not turned 16 yet.
• Putting in the work and training takes time, while still being in school and trying to get the best results possible for university applications.
Apart from the challenges, she is grateful for her achievements, and for being rewarded for her hard work.
“I am extremely blessed with a talent and an opportunity, which gives me a shot at being at the top,” she says.
“I have had an amazing athletics career thus far, even though everything does not always go according to plan. I’m excited to see what the future holds.”
10 facts about yourself:
• I love reading psychological books.
• I am an excellent cook.
• I have a passion for cars.
• One of my hobbies is playing guitar.
• My favourite snack is popcorn.
• I hate jogging.
• I am an extremely self-disciplined person.
• I hate tomatoes.
• I am a practical person.
• I have a coffee addiction.
Her words of advice for other athletes:
“Stick with the dream and never give it up. Even when it gets rough and it looks like it is not achievable, just keep going. When I’m in a tough spot, I think of something ‘Dory’ once said: Just keep swimming. If you can convince yourself to just keep going, you’ll make it, because you are your greatest adversary.”
She has broken the senior national record four times this year and six times in total.