Elna – Melissa – Anika are 3 Awesome South Africans

Filed in Spirit by on March 8, 2016 • views: 2670

Elna Dürr | Melissa Viljoen | Anika Pretorius

Elna Dürr has only 5% percentage extreme tunnel vision and with her guide runner, Melissa Viljoen they are athletes in the T12 100m and 200m division with their coach Anika Pretorius (who only has 10% vision herself)

They call themselves the 3 Blind Mice and yes they are Awesome South Africans. Their goal is to break the SA record in the 100m and 200m sprints.

If ever there is an example of Human Spirit overcoming obstacles, meet these three ladies – This will inspire you!!


Elna Dürr is a visually impaired 100 and 200m-athlete, member of the Maties Para sport club, aiming to break the South African records with the assistance of her guide runner, Melissa Viljoen. Elna completed her masters degree in psychology and Melissa her honours in sport science (kinderkinetics) during 2015.  They have been training together since August 2014 to achieve her goals.



Dürr, who graduated with a Master’s degree in Psychology in December 2015, suffers from Retinitis pigmentosa. RP is a group of rare, genetic disorders that involve a breakdown and loss of cells in the retina – the light-sensitive tissue that lines the back of the eye. Common symptoms include difficulty seeing at night and a loss of side vision (peripheral).

She completed her studies with the help of computer software and braille.

“I have a loss of peripheral vision. I was born with the disease and my eyes have been stable since birth. At the moment there are no signs that my eyesight will get worse,” said Dürr.

“I want to thank you for allowing us the opportunity to work with you, for being understanding and patient while we figured things out. You are hardworking, determined and you never give up. You are always willing to give it another shot. We are proud of you,” she said.

“Al is jy moeg, moet jy jouself heeltyd motiveer, want die eindproduk is altyd bevredigend as jy weet jy het jou bes gedoen.Practice makes perfect. Moet nooit opgee op jou droom nie.”

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