Everything she touches turns to gold

Johmari Logtenberg with her sporting and academic accolades.

Johmari Logtenberg has recently moved to Tzaneen to start her chiropractic business and with her she brings an interesting tale of her sporting past.

Brought up in Durban, Logtenberg has represented South Africa in women’s cricket, table tennis and golf.

Unfortunately her sporting prowess was brought to an abrupt halt when she was diagnosed with talo-calcaneal coalition in her ankles at the young age of 21, basically meaning that two bones in her ankle are fused.

Her diverse sporting skills were evident from a young age, with Logtenberg representing South Africa in table tennis for four years up until the age of 13 and was named SA champ at the age of 10. In 2003, she was awarded the KZN Sports Woman of the Year award.

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Logtenberg further represented SA in women’s cricket for five years between the ages of 14 and 18. During that time she was awarded Junior Women’s Cricketer of the Year in 2004 and 2006. She soon realised that she wouldn’t be able to make a profession out of it and decided to try her hand at golf. Within eight months of practice, she got down to a three handicap.

She joined a gold academy in Johannesburg and stayed there for two and a half years before moving to George to train with Val Holland at Kings Wood.

At the age of 21 she made the SA women’s squad and was the top ranking number 6 woman in the country but concurrently was diagnosed with the condition and therefore could not represent the country.

With her sporting dreams shattered, she visited a number of orthopaedic specialists but all of them were reluctant to operate on her due to her age. The condition is so rare that one of the specialists advised that she was the first case he had seen in 12 years.

The doctors advised her to slow things down, “It reached a breaking point, I have to know my limits and manage that,” says Logtenberg.

She says that things started to add up, “I never had a lot of movement in my ankles. I never crawled as a baby and it all started to add up. I wouldn’t have been able to crawl. It would have developed in utero.”
After getting over the blow of not being able to represent her country, Logtenberg thought about the next step, “I always had a passion for academics and particular, medicine. Studying to become a chiropractor looked to be the best for me.”

Logtenberg’s sister was at the time (and still is) practising as a chiropractor in Polokwane and Johmari was inspired by the difference she could see in the patients from when they entered and when they left her sister’s practice.

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During her studies, she continued to reap in the accolades, receiving the Presidents Award in her final year of study, “Two awards are given out each year. One to students at GUT and one to students at UJ. It was a people’s vote and I was fortunate enough to receive the award for GU.”

Logtenberg told the LETABA HERALD that the award is based on a lot of factors including patient interaction and the respect of peers. Having only graduated in May, Johmari opened her doors on Park Street two weeks ago. When asked why she chose to open her practice in Tzaneen, she said: “I have been visiting my family in Ofcolaco for many years. A number of factors brought me here but I want to be closer to my family and my sister. There are a lot of opportunities in Tzaneen.”

She says she is excited but nervous about what is ahead, “I took a jump of faith. A lot of my friends rather went into associate positions. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to open my own practice. My sister offers a great support net in a professional capacity.”

At the moment she says she is happy to cover all aspects of the profession and is not looking to specialise at this stage, “I’ve just started out. It is so diverse, I am trying everything and enjoying it all.”

  AUTHOR
Beth Coetzee
Journalist

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