I was born and raised in Newcastle and moved to Pretoria when I was 10 not knowing a decade later I would start what is now known as Olympic Academy of Driving. I matriculated at Verwoerdburg H/S 1995 at the age of 17 and only manage to go for my driver’s license test six months later when I turned 18. In a funny and bizarre way, I would from that moment never look back as my life from that moment forward would be centralized around the industry of driver training.
I started giving driving lessons at the age of 18, shortly after I got my own license first time around at the old Lyttleton driver’s license centre. I gained plenty experience and knowledge in those first couple of months in my new venture as a Driving Instructor and quickly learned that this is a very valuable, personalized and exciting service one deliver to students. I realized that I could see myself running my own driving school. After gaining enough experience and setting up the necessary financial structure My Olympic Driving School baby was born!
January 1999 me and a brand new cactus green 1.6 city golf was the start of Olympic Academy of driving. After a couple of months I generated so much business and had to employ my 1st Instructor. The business generated enough interest that my girlfriend at the time -future wife to be- working at Vodacom at that time, decided to join me full-time as partner in the business. We eventually got married in 2002 and a year later decided to take on a big adventure. We took a break from Olympic and went to the UK for a two-year working holiday. This turn of events was both very exciting and daunting leaving the business behind and going into the complete unknown. Looking back now those two years was some of the most exciting and adventurous years of my life! During our overseas adventure I personally did many different kinds of jobs, from labour jobs in construction in London, to working as a bartender in a 400year old pub in the English Countryside Village. Eventually ending up as a restaurant supervisor in a Birmingham Hotel Group just before we came back to South Africa April 2005. During out overseas adventure we explored most of the UK and also got an opportunity to travel Italy, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Egypt, Dubai, Ireland, Scotland and Australia. These travels definitely enhanced my skills to work with different nationality, personality, race and religion making me all so much more equipped to handle what was coming my way.
After we returned from our overseas adventure my father suddenly passed away in 2006 who was a fundamental mental partner when starting up Olympic and a beloved father figure all my life. One year later my son was born and the start of family life and running the business became a reality. We were blessed with a second child 3.5 years later and my daughter was born. Family life changed our lives completely and we were ready to fill these full time roles while making a success of our careers as well. My wife decided to break loose from the business and got her degree in accounting and ended up in the corporate world where she achieved huge success and is currently the GM of two Companies. I have to commend and recognize the fact that Olympic has taken up allot of my time away from Francis and the kids. My wife deserves to get the accolades for being supportive and patient through the years. Overall I hope and believe all the tears and frustration was worth it as Olympic gave us stability over 2 decades and plenty great memories especially all those lovely family holidays and breakaways. Those were the times that I could give back time wise what Olympic took away from my time with my family.
Around 2012 I started to focus more on the management of the business and its operations. I had a dedicated team with a good blend of senior and more experienced staff and also new young and exciting blood. There was some significant team members along the way who I feel need some mentioning. Ruan van Zyl was one of those who was a workaholic and an absolute legend in the industry. His input over 8 years, the vibe and fun and laughter he created, the ability to take any obstacle or issue we had with a client and resolving the matter to a happy and satisfied licensed driver at the end was remarkable. Currently running his own school in Durban and offering K53 and defensive and advance driving courses.
Another legend in Olympic was Sean Broodryk, who worked for the company 11 years. He has perhaps made the biggest transformation from where he started as junior Instructor not knowing anything about the driving school industry to becoming the preferred choice for many families and friends to help their kids achieve greatness and become great legal drivers. He was characterized as a very patient and dedicated Instructor who could repeat the same instruction never to get annoyed. His dedication and willingness to help was what made him stood out. Sean was also the first staff member to become involved with managing the company where I was not in a position to do so, in doing so I realized the need for the company to have a full-time position as Manager, a future requirement. During his time at Olympic he got married and became a father also had to deal with the loss of his father. He is now successful in the Vodacom group managing one of their Vodacom outlet stores in the east of Pretoria.
Elmien joined the company the same age as when I started it, and personally has been anchor of support. She was one of the most requested Instructors during her training career and people just loved to be around her calm, dedicated, relaxed, positive and friendly character. She made every step of the way one of joy and self believe and will be missed in the training scene but is now flourishing in her new title as Operations Manager at Olympic.
Then there is the Boshoff family whom provide us the combination of a mother and daughter to become part of the Instructors team. Monique first joined the company and became a very successful instructor and also got involved with some administrative duties. Her mother Louisa initially started out doing some admin and later became a specialist instructor under automatic vehicles. Being our most senior team member she needs to be complimented on her total dedication an extremely hard work and long hours she has put into this business. For a lady to wake up many mornings before 4 AM and only get home around 7 PM and never complains is it true reflection of the character and dedication. She has done tremendous hard work and we will miss her when she also one day moves on.
The Dorlly Brothers, NOW here we have a formidable combination with two exciting young dedicated and very skilled instructors to have become part of our successful team. They have already over the last three years become known as a pillar of success and hard work within the company and carries an exceptional level of client satisfaction and success with them. I can see a bright and exciting future for both these brothers within the company.
Family has always played a big part in our business and many families has become part of our team. Such a family currently being the Vassiliou and Levien’s. A combination of Dino who joined the company more than a decade ago, and subsequently there after we are now also blessed to have his sister Mariana Levien and two of her sons Levi and Khai also working for the company. Dino has been loyal and hard-working over the years and has been fundamental in the EB Training. His knowledge, hard work and ability to deliver the unexpected will be missed when he perhaps also finds new ventures and paths to take him along his life journey. Mariana and her sons has left a very significant mark in a short period of time. Their energetic and enthusiastic approach is what attracts clients to want to be a part of this awesomeness and their clients thoroughly enjoyed the training experience with them.
I would like to consider myself as a very patient and relaxed person. I love interaction and communication with people and it’s this that attracted me from the beginning when starting doing training in 1996. I find huge satisfaction in providing a personalized service to students and in this privileged environment we are able to share with them. For them to choose us from the vast volume of schools out there has always made me very proud. My dedication, energy and personal involvement over the years has been perhaps one of the reasons we achieved this success. The fact that I always try to meet every clients requirements and needs, and provide guidance, advice and assurance to as many of our clients personally does make me feel we deliver a little above average service to them.
On a personally note I’m a big family man and spending time with my wife and two kids away from the business has always been some of the most rewarding times. I would consider myself being in charge of all holiday planning and social planning when it comes to our family. I love cooking and entertaining which goes hand-in-hand. I love the outdoors and being out in some remote and beautiful nature environments really makes my soul feel at ease. I love traveling and I hope to enjoy that quality perhaps later in my life again. One of my dreams is to take a huge African safari with 4×4 and a rooftop tent and explore the remote beauty of the African continent. I love the Drakensberg and have enjoyed so many wonderful times hiking with my wife and kids. The Bushveld and its beautiful sunsets with the smell of a Bushveld wood burning and setting the tone for a lovely family braai later must be one of my favourite things to experience. I love music and have extreme diverse genre I enjoy. Music for me is a way to escape and to also bring once mind to a place of peace and tranquillity and just let your imagination take you on a journey of total relaxation. I enjoy taking my GS motorcycle for a ride and the freedom of being one with the machine and feeling the elements of wind hitting your body gives you a different kind of relaxation, Riding a bike is a different way off clearing and isolating your thoughts and making you relaxed and one sort of forget everything else…leaving it behind as you push forward into the wind. I also enjoy gardening and the satisfaction from planting flowers and caring and enjoying them blooming brings one close to the energy they provide. Playing golf with my friends gives one time to reflect on some of the qualities one can enjoy running a successful business and it makes us grateful that we can still enjoy this precious time among friends.
The diversity of my team is now better than ever and this creates freedom to feel confident to excel with everything we take one. Positivity is a key factor when working with young people. Their time spend preparing for their drivers test can be a life’s changing episode for some and a very big milestone for others. Alongside me I have a dedicated professional team that support and delivery every aspect of what’s required to make Olympic a success. From every phone call that gets taken to every schedule that’s planned, every invoice made to every salary calculation, every driving lessons given to every clients being framed in that glorious moment posing with their license in hand.
ALL THIS IS WHAT MAKES US THE OLYMPIC TEAM🏆