Close this search box.

A UJ academic with lifting power off to international Powerlifting Championships in Finland

Picture an image of a world class powerlifter in your mind. Most people will imagine somebody that looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Žydrūnas Savickas or Usain Bolt. Stop. Now use Photoshop in your mind and start changing the picture. Change the image to a female; 1.48 mitre tall; weighing 46 kilograms. Stop. Now imagine her deadlifting a 120 kilograms. Does it become more difficult to imagine? Now change the focus, imagine her as an academic, a chartered accountant and registered auditor.
This is the incredible Ms Mariska McKenzie, a University of Johannesburg (UJ) academic good in the lecture hall and also in powerlifting. After the recent SA Classic Powerlifting Championships in Potchefstroom, McKenzie was selected to represent South Africa at the IPF Classic Powerlifting championship in Finland from 5 to 14 June 2015. Approximately 493 second year and 638 third year chartered accountancy students at UJ know her as their Financial Management Lecturer.
She is a Research Supervisor for some of the UJ Master’s degree students in the Department of Accountancy. McKenzie’s own research interests lie in exploring the financial and non-financial costs of businesses that are in financial distress.
She won a gold medal in the 47kg category for women in the open category at the SA Classic Powerlifting Championship on Friday, 27 March 2015.
“I started preparing for my first Powerlifting competition in May 2014 and I never knew that I had any athletic abilities before then. Prior to competing in powerlifting, my biggest achievement in sports was competing in the 60-metre sprint as a grade 1 pupil,” says McKenzie.
She adds: “Through God’s grace, I wish to use my talents and opportunities, to inspire other women and the youth to be strong from an intellectual, physical and mental perspective. I would like to encourage people to follow their dreams, even though everything may appear to be impossible at any given point in time.”
McKenzie believes that the following aspects are the ingredients to making dreams come true:
  • An amazing coach: My coach is William Ainslie. It makes following a dream much more attainable if you have a world class expert on your side to show you the way. Ainslie is a SA Weightlifting record holder and has represented South Africa on numerous occasions in Weightlifting internationally.
  • A role model: Mine is Danel van Jaarsveld. Van Jaarsveld is a multiple SA Powerlifting record holder: Follow the example set by leaders in your field.
  • A team: My Find your Edge team members. Surround yourself with people with the same passion and work ethic as you.
  • A supportive family/structure: My husband Patrick Casey. I am incredibly blessed to be married to an awesome husband.
  • Faith in God Almighty. To know that with Him by your side, nothing is impossible.
  • Hard work and effort. Blood, sweat and tears are usually part of the journey.​
McKenzie will be participating on the 11th.


Share this

Latest News

All News