THE YOUNG GIRLS AT THE EN­DURO­CAD SA EN­DURANCE ACADEMY

(orig­i­nally from Voren­toe High School, Jo­han­nes­burg)

Runner's World South Africa - - Heroes Who Inspire -

COACH HANS SAESTAD runs the KPMG-Voren­toe Run­ning Academy, based at Voren­toe High School in Joburg. The school re­cruits tal­ented young mid­dle- dis­tance run­ners from hum­ble back­grounds in Lim­popo and Mpumalanga, and pays for their school fees, food, med­i­cal ex­penses, training camps, travel ex­penses, and trans­port to their homes.

The girls have made a bold com­mit­ment: to give up time with their fam­i­lies, in or­der to at­tend board­ing school and use ath­let­ics as a con­duit to a bet­ter life. They train hard, and not al­ways with the sup­port and bless­ing of their fam­i­lies. And Voren­toe is an Afrikaans school, so the girls have to adapt to an un­fa­mil­iar lan­guage and cul­ture.

Not only do th­ese girls as­pire to be fast run­ners; they want to be suc­cess­ful in life in gen­eral. When you con­sider the sac­ri­fices they have made to get there, they’re noth­ing short of in­spir­ing.

I would love to see them at the next Olympics. Talent like that can com­pete at the high­est level, and the girls will in­spire other young women to make brave de­ci­sions. They are vi­tal for the fu­ture of South African run­ning.

“WHEN YOU CON­SIDER THE SAC­RI­FICES THEY HAVE MADE TO GET THERE, THEY’RE NOTH­ING SHORT OF IN­SPIR­ING.”

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