In­juries can’t kill his love for sport

Led­waba redi­rects his soc­cer dream into gym

Sowetan - - Job Market - By Mothusi Masemola

His star was on the rise un­til a knee in­jury halted his soc­cer am­bi­tions years ago. Sakie Led­waba, who started play­ing soc­cer pro­fes­sion­ally at the age of 23, proudly shows the 15cm scar on his knee.

“I played for [Or­lando] Pi­rates with ‘Killer’ Mkhwanazi,” he says. “Dur­ing a soc­cer match my knee was stepped on and had to go for an op­er­a­tion and wore a plas­ter for nine months.”

“Af­ter my knee [in­jury] I de­cided to start run­ning. I started run­ning se­ri­ously in 2011 and have since com­pleted the Com­rades [Marathon] twice, but last time I ran I got a knee in­jury in Dur­ban.”

Led­waba now owns a gym, Trim­wise, in Mz­imh­lope, Soweto. “We cater for dis­ad­van­taged com­mu­ni­ties and train pen­sion­ers and crèche chil­dren. Our mem­ber­ship fee is R100. We also have or­di­nary com­mu­nity mem­bers com­ing into gym.”

“My du­ties in­clude coach­ing, ad­vis­ing on a train­ing and diet plans and ad­min­is­tra­tion. Be­cause we have such lim­ited re­sources I (also) fix and main­tain the equip­ment my­self,” he says.

Led­waba says his low­est mo­ment was when he only had 30 mem­bers at his gym. “Our big­gest chal­lenge is that peo­ple are not con­sis­tent (with keep­ing their mem­ber­ship) which af­fects our num­bers and [in­come],” he adds. But now Led­waba is con­fi­dent he is on the right path with more than 150 mem­bers signed to the gym.

He beams when he speaks about his favourite part of the job. “I thor­oughly en- joy train­ing the pen­sion­ers. They are so com­mit­ted, even when it rains they walk in with their um­brel­las. They talk about how gym has im­proved their ail­ments.”

Led­waba re­veals that he did not fin­ish his the­ol­ogy de­gree be­cause of his pol­i­tics. “I went to Le­sotho to study but was dis­missed be­cause of my po­lit­i­cal ac­tivism. I wanted to be a pas­tor in or­der to use that door to ad­vance our po­lit­i­cal agenda, but that did not go far,” he laughs.

The 57-year-old says Trim­wise has two per­ma­nent vol­un­teers who act as per­sonal train­ers.

/KA­BELO MOKOENA

Sakie Led­waba has opened a gym which has been run­ning for 9 years.

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