Down syndrome
Photo Credit: BackaBuddy

Cindy Engelbrecht has never let her Down Syndrome diagnosis hold her back from achieving her dreams; she has become a tennis table champion!


Pretoria, South Africa (11 March 2020) – Despite the limitations placed on her at birth, Cindy has become a top Down Syndrome Field Athlete. Doctors said she would never be able to do anything by herself.

Cindy has made South Africa proud on the international stage. At the Sports Union for Athletes with Down Syndrome (SU-DS) World Championships in Portugal, Cindy took part in shot put, discus and javelin. In each athletics field, Cindy came in the top three, earning herself two silver and one bronze medal.

“Cindy is fearless and has a can-do attitude. Sport is a big part of her life, and every time we think she can’t get any better, she passes our expectations and sets new goals. She keeps striving to be the best she can be, and at the same time she motivates fellow contenders to be their best” says proud brother, Jean Engelbrecht (36)

Cindy has another sporting passion. She loves playing table tennis! So much so, that she currently holds the Gauteng North Table Tennis Champion title. Cindy has been invited to compete at the South African Down Syndrome Table Tennis Championships in Cape Town that takes place from the 23rd to 27th of March.

Her family love supporting her but cannot afford the costs of sending Cindy to Cape Town for the championship. They hope that by crowdfunding the money, they can continue to support Cindy’s dream. The set up a crowdfund on the donations based crowdfunding platform, Backabuddy.

The campaign went live on 13th of February and has thus far raised a total of R 4 907.88 towards the fundraising target of R7000 with contributions from 10 donors. Funds raised will be used to cover Cindy’s transport, accommodation, food and a planned tour with her team.

“We really hope the public will support our Wonder Woman in reaching her dreams as we know it will motivate her to dream bigger and reach new heights” – says Jean

With the support of occasional sponsors, Cindy has been fortunate to attend Club 21, a special needs school devoted to Down Syndrome individuals, that teaches speech therapy, life skills,  computer literacy and focuses on sport over and above the curriculum. Any additional funds to the crowdfunding campaign will be used to support Cindy’s schooling.

Down syndrome awareness

According to the Western Cape Government, it’s estimated that 1 in 1 000 babies born in developed countries and 1 in 650 babies born in developing countries are affected by Down Syndrome.

With their campaign, the Engelbrecht family hope to raise awareness around Down Syndrome and demonstrate to the public that with a loving home, medical care and education, individuals with down syndrome can live long purpose-driven lives.

“Apart from being a great sportsperson, Cindy is also a skilled painter and an impressive singer. My sister has shown me that with acceptance, support and a big heart, people with Down syndrome can achieve anything they put their minds to.  When I tell people that Cindy has Down syndrome they are often shocked because she is just like everyone else. ” – says Jean

If you would like to support Cindy’s dream, you can do so here.

Source: BackaBuddy – Supplied
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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