Cressy’s Ingrid Arendse was an exceptional talent

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INGRID ARENDSE of Harold Cressy High School in Cape Town was a beautiful and elegant sprinter in the late 1970s.

She was probably the most naturally-built sprinter of all ladies’ sprinters that one has seen grace an athletics track; tall, strong and powerful on the shoulders and legs.

She held her composure and style to the end.

Ingrid Arendse
Ingrid Arendse was the genuine article when it came to athletics and academic excellence.

This seemed to have worked in Ingrid’s favour and combined with her terrific fitness levels, she held several Western Province Senior Schools Sports Union (WPSSSU) and South African Senior Schools Sports Association (SASSSA) sprints records.

At the champion of champions in 1979, Arendse, 16, won both the 100m and 200m races on the slow grass track of Athlone Stadium.

Her girls under 17 SASSSA 200m record of 25,7 seconds set in 1979 was only beaten by Odessa Krause (Swarts) of Scottsville High in 1991 (25,67 secs). Krause was a phenomenal sprinter.

By the time Ingrid competed in the open section, she ran into her cousin Suezette Arendse of Hewat Training College (formerly representing Boland at SASSSA level) in 1980.

The younger Ingrid won the 100m. The seasoned Ronel Juries of Hewat won the 200m. Suezette won the long jump and would go on to become the sprint and long champion in subsequent years.

After high school, Ingrid embarked on a journey of academic excellence, culminating in a doctorate.

Professor Ingrid Arendse (Miller) was the registrar of the University of the Western Cape and she was destined to become the vice-chancellor academic of the university.

Ingrid Arendse passed away on 21 December 2013.

She was 51.

* She leaves behind her husband Roderick Miller, a medical doctor, and their two children.

4 thoughts on “Cressy’s Ingrid Arendse was an exceptional talent

  • December 22, 2016 at 8:12 am
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    Your website and facebook page bring back fond memories of those beautiful athletics days, it is just a pity all the athletes of those years faded away… it is only when one such person passes on that we hear again of the superb athletes of yesteryear.

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  • May 8, 2016 at 9:06 am
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    In a long line of athletics tradition started by vice the principal of Harold Cressy High School in the late fifties to early sixties, Harry Hendricks who was the only person to be chairperson of SAAAB (the non-racial athletics body affiliated to SACOS) from 1946 – 1994/5 when it was rather decided to disband, then amalgamate with the non-existent NSC body; the racist “white” body in a sham unity. Harry went on to become principal of Uitenhage High; rector of Bellville College of Education.

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  • March 24, 2016 at 9:53 pm
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    I am glad somebody took the time to compile this information. Suzette van Wyk

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  • March 24, 2016 at 1:40 pm
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    I’m sadden to read this now. Living abroad sometimes makes one miss the memorable moments of a star athlete whom I knew personally as I ran in the 100 m relay race with her. Remembering our netball matches at Cressy with her. My heart is sadden to hear of a young successful woman passing but not forgotten.

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