Excelling in a sport that relies on sportsmanship and honesty, speaks volumes to Janco Heese’s integrity and values. Combine that with a sense of humour and a mind that can master one of Stellenbosch University’s most difficult engineering courses, and you meet someone who has the whole proverbial package.
Janco – one of Curro Langebaan’s initial learners – discovered Ultimate Frisbee while at university. He quickly found that had to learn to balance his love for sport with the mentally demanding and time-consuming curriculum of Mechatronic Engineering. “I once chose Ultimate Frisbee above a [tut test]; not a good idea.” He had to sacrifice many other enjoyable pastimes – and his spot in res – to keep from juggling too many interests and a stringent academic programme (as well as a relationship) was very inefficient. “Now, I’m much more successful at my studies and sport. I’ll get back to you on the relationship part.” he adds jokingly.
Some of Janco’s favourite memories include going on road trips with his hockey and tennis teammates. As his father is also an engineer, Janco was fascinated by Technology and Science, and therefore chose robotics as a specialisation. “The academics [at Curro Langebaan] helped to prepare me for my studies.”
A relatively new sport in SA, Ultimate Frisbee combines aspects of basketball, soccer, and netball with one big difference: there is no referee. Players are expected to call out their own errors and resolve any disputes amicably. “I play with a lot of passion, so I had to learn to remain calm and respectful when other players make a bad call.” This turned into a life-lesson that Janco says has helped him a grow a lot as a person. “I’ve grown better at moving past bad calls against me, but struggle to stay calm when I see someone mistreat one of my teammates.”
Now, doesn’t that just sum him up beautifully: Gentleman; sportsman; scholar.
Read about Janco’s experience representing SA in Germany last year.