Antarctica and academics: Treverton College adventure sports star Kai Broom aces matric
Treverton College's 'goal-setting go-getter' Kai Broom has ended his school career on a high note with yet another milestone achievement.
From Antarctica to top of class: Treverton College’s Kai Broom passed the IEB matric exams with seven distinctions. Kai and South African explorer Riaan Manser strike a pose on the Matrics in Antarctica expedition which took place in late 2022. Photos: Supplied
From an extreme “Polar Bear Challenge” to an Antarctica expedition, finishing a gruelling 100km run along the Drakensberg Escarpment in under 36 hours or embarking on a “brisk” 250km walk, Treverton College’s Kai Broom is a firm believer in pushing the limits of the possible.
The talented adventure sportsman crossed the finish line of his matric year with no less than seven distinctions. A stellar achievement he shares with fellow Treverton College pupil Karijn Kooi who also passed the Independent Examinations Board (IEB) examinations with flying colours.
The IEB school in Mooi River, in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, boasts a 100% pass rate with 76 distinctions from 49 pupils and an 86% bachelor pass.
Mind over matter: ‘No limits’ for Treverton College’s Kai Broom
Kai, who lives by the motto – “There is no limits to the mind. The only ones are those you choose to accept” — has already been accepted to study medicine at Wits University.
“I plan to specialise in sports medicine,” said the young sportsman who is already eyeing his next Drakensberg Grand Traverse in April this year.
“Last year, I finished the 250km walk in nine days, but this time I want to cut it down to five.”
Kai has been applying this same “strategy” of setting himself goals (…and then moving the goal posts) to his academic studies.
“A lot of things in life is a mental challenge,” the driven matriculant explained.
“That’s why a positive attitude is so important. I always set myself a goal, even for small tasks. Then I try and stretch that goal once I’ve reached it.
“For example, if I plan to study for an hour, I’ll end up adding another half an hour once I’ve completed the hour.”
Extreme balancing act
However, it is no mean feat to successfully juggle his love for adventure sports, learning and nature conservation.
So how does Kai manage to run like mad, swim like a polar bear while racking up academic achievements and raising R60 000 by co-organising the 21km Rhino Peak Challenge to bolster conservation efforts?
“Maintaining a balance is a key aspect of my life,” comes the short – but not so simple – answer.
Matrics in Antarctica expedition with Riaan Manser
This is not the first time, however, that Kai has made the headlines.
In 2022, he was selected by South African explorer Riaan Manser to represent Treverton College at the Matrics in Antarctica expedition for organising the Rhino Peak Challenge alongside his fellow pupil and friend Jarred van Alphen.
Kai was the only KwaZulu-Natal representative chosen for what is arguably one of the coolest matric adventures. The rest of the Matrics in Antarctica comprised of two pupils from Gauteng and another two from the Western Cape.
“Treverton has exposed me to multiple disciplines, instilled a love of the environment and outdoor pursuits and has taught me how to persevere,” Kai told Capital Newspapers at the time.
“Without this grounding, I would never have been able to take on this incredible adventure.”
WATCH: Kai Broom and Matrics in Antarctica
Treverton tradition: Polar Bear Challenge and award
One of Treverton College’s outdoor pursuits which undoubtedly contributed to Kai’s true grit when it comes to icy temperatures, is the adventure-oriented school’s traditional Polar Bear Challenge .
“At school, we have the Polar Bear Challenge which involves jumping into the dam [on the college campus] at 5am every Wednesday of the year. Pupils who took the plunge every morning, get the Polar Bear Award,” Kai explained.
Extreme Swiss Polar Bear Challenge
The young adventurer and his father and Treverton College principal, Kean Broom, took the school’s Polar Bear Challenge to the extreme when they braved a 20m swim in the freezing cold waters of Lake Geneva during a midwinter holiday to Switzerland in 2022.
“My dad is actually the one who has inspired me to get involved in adventure sports,” the 18-year-old all-rounder explained.
“He ran the Comrades last year, climbed Kilimanjaro seven times, summited Mount Everest and even played volleyball for South Africa in his younger days.
“Everyone at school knows him as a lekka guy,” Kai said with pride.
“When we were in Switzerland, we walked past this lake. It was freezing and there were snowy mountains around. I said to my dad, ‘Let’s do an extreme Polar Bear Challenge’.”
And they did…
- The Citizen wishes Kai and the rest of Treverton College’s Class of 2023 all the best in their future endeavours.