Tanya Scholtz gave a motivational speech to a sold out crowd this morning - sharing stories of her childhood in South Africa during the apartheid era before she moved to Guernsey to work in finance, and play rugby for the island.
Ms Scholtz was invited to be guest speaker by the members of Soroptimist International of Guernsey who held a breakfast at St Pierre Park Hotel to celebrate International Women’s Day 2023.
More than 130 people were at the breakfast briefing including students from all of the secondary schools in Guernsey.
Pictured: Sponsorship enabled students of Guernsey's secondary schools to attend the International Women's Day breakfast hosted by the Soroptimist International.
Accompanied by their teachers, and in the company of women of all ages, backgrounds, and professions the girls listened as Ms Scholtz told them to take chances and to be brave in their pursuit of their own dreams.
A message which hit home with the girls of Les Beaucamps High School.
With their teacher Tracey Hubert, the group of year 9, 10, and 11 students said they felt empowered by what they had heard.
Year 11 student and Head Girl Chloe, aged 15, said she enjoyed hearing how Ms Scholtz moved to Guernsey and then started playing rugby.
"It was inspirational, as soon as she moved to Guernsey she started playing for the island as well," Chloe said.
Eva, 15, said she manages to combine her own love of sport by continuing with her netball while studying for her GCSEs. She also felt inspired by Ms Scholtz's ability to combine her career with her own passion for sport.
"I just try and fit it in when I have my free time," she said. "I enjoy it because it makes me happy and it's a safe space for me, and I enjoy playing with other people."
Both girls agreed that one of the pressures they face currently in their lives is time management and prioritising school work and other commitments like sports.
"Like Tanya said, you have to believe in yourself before other people can believe in you," said Chloe, who explained how the support they receive from their teachers, parents and carers is so important, which also echoed Ms Scholtz's journey.
"Her parents giving her the best education she could have, it was inspirational," she said.
Pictured: Teacher Tracey Hubert with students from Les Beaucamps High School.
Deputy Head Girl Leah (16) felt empowered in her own choices after hearing encouraging words from Ms Scholtz.
"When she said you really have to believe in yourself and do what you really want to do and not what anyone else does, it really made me think that, yes, I know I have chosen what I want to do for the rest of my life."
With her plans to study childcare and early years education at the College of Further Education, Leah said she also feels supported as well as empowered in her life choices.
Deputy Head Girl Morgan (16) said one of the main messages she took from Ms Scholtz's speech was that hard work is vital for everyone.
"When she said that she had to put in the hard work and it wasn't just down to luck. That inspires me because it shows what you want to get in life you have to work for. It's not always down to luck and you do need to put effort in."
Pictured: Tanya Scholtz, Associate Director at Grant Thornton Ltd.
Tanya Scholtz is a South African woman who has been living in Guernsey for the past nine years.
She has been playing rugby since 2014 and plays regularly for the Guernsey Raiders Ladies and was selected for the Springbok Women’s Squad that toured Europe in November 2021.
Ms Scholtz is a qualified chartered accountant and work as an Associate Director at Grant Thornton Limited. In her spare time, when she is not pursuing her rugby dream, she also plays netball, touch rugby and does crossfit.
Pictured top: Chloe, Leah, Eva, and Morgan.
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