Fun run first for Phakama club

The Rep - - SPORT - ANDISA BONANI

The Phakama Ath­let­ics Club hosted their first an­nual road run on Satur­day with 100 sports en­thu­si­asts and pro­fes­sional run­ners par­tic­i­pat­ing.

Club chair Si­mon Jongile said the race was a suc­cess and he was happy to have run­ners from sev­eral towns in­clud­ing Whit­tle­sea, Ca­cadu, East Lon­don, Cofimv­aba and Gcuwa in at­ten­dance.

Jongile said the race, which this year in­cluded a 6km and a 12km run, would be down­graded to 5km and 10km in the fu­ture as these were the of­fi­cially recog­nised in­ter­na­tional dis­tances.

“This par­tic­u­lar race was a prepara­tory one and an in­tro­duc­tion to what is yet to come in the near fu­ture. We hope next year we will have more peo­ple par­tic­i­pat­ing, es­pe­cially the lo­cals, be­cause it is in their town and there­fore their sup­port is im­por­tant to us.”

Avid Cofimv­aba run­ner Muhle Fan­teni, who also par­tic­i­pated in the Twizza Bonkolo Marathon ear­lier in No­vem­ber, was the over­all win­ner of the 12km race.

Fan­teni said he was happy to have won and that he had pre­pared well for the race by par­tic­i­pat­ing in sev­eral marathons.

“This was a good race to pre­pare me for the up­com­ing He­roes Marathon in Mthatha on De­cem­ber 1. I had a good run and all I need to do to keep win­ning is to main­tain my speed.”

Sive Tshokot­sha and Zuk­ile Vellem were se­cond and third re­spec­tively. Zuk­ile Mapoyi won the 6km run for adults and Avela Nazo won the same race in the ju­nior cat­e­gory.

“Par­ents and teach­ers need to en­cour­age chil­dren to par­tic­i­pate in such events so they can grow up lov­ing sports. Races like this one are im­por­tant, es­pe­cially for chil­dren who love ath­let­ics and cross coun­try,” Jongile said.

“The mis­take they make is to only start train­ing when the ath­let­ics sea­son starts at schools. If a child joined an ath­let­ics club and trained reg­u­larly they would do well.”

He said the lack of busi­ness sup­port was also dis­ap­point­ing and he hoped this would change in the fu­ture.

“We will con­tinue knock­ing on their doors un­til they recog­nise us and sup­port what we are try­ing to achieve with this club.”

Jongile thanked all the spon­sors who sup­ported the race for their con­tri­bu­tions.

OFF THEY GO! Run­ners take off in a fun run or­gan­ised by the Phakama Ath­let­ics Club in Ko­mani

Pic­tures: ANDISA BONANI

GOT THIS: Win­ners of the Phakama Ath­let­ics Club 12km road run on Satur­day in Ko­mani were, from left, the over­all win­ner Muhle Fan­teni, in se­cond place Sive Tshokot­sha and in third place Zuk­ile Vellem

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