Hockey+running= bums on seats

2016-04-21 06:00
 Langa Hockey Club has been staging 5km runs in the area to raise awareness about the benefits of healthy living and fitness.                                PHOTO: phumzile malotana

Langa Hockey Club has been staging 5km runs in the area to raise awareness about the benefits of healthy living and fitness. PHOTO: phumzile malotana

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A bold campaign to bring bums on the seats whenever the Langa Hockey Club plays is slowly but surely gaining momentum.

Conceptualised by the team’s executive and dubbed #2000 Fans of Langa, it is an open invitation to the community to support the club’s home games.

“This is an ongoing campaign throughout the hockey season because were want people to support the club from our junior matches to senior teams.

We want people to come out and watch us in the field of play” said the team’s publicist Phumzile Malotana.

But Malotana added that on top of the fan drive, they are starting to attract ordinary people’s attention through their club’s Friday 5km hockey runs.

“This is every exciting and people who have never run before are starting to follow us and the feedback we get is amazing. Others have taken to exercising daily because of this,” he said.

Club player Owethu Ebenezer Maholwana says the runs are making a difference in the comuunity.

“The pace is high but a lot of people are starting to enjoy it. They can’ wait to don their red socks on Fridays to be part of the hockey run,” said Owethu.

Malotana said filling up the stadium with fans gave players the spirit to fight until the end.

As an example, he cites their opening game against Pinelands two weeks ago, when the men’s team was in sublime form, winning 3-1.

The team had bounced back from a 1-0 deficit to complete control the game.

“We want to turn Langa Stadium into a “slaughter house”(for visitors), visiting teams must fear us but at the same time making the community part of the hockey vibe and entertainment,” he said.

The club is also proud of being the only one in a township in South Africa that has an astro turf.

Hockey was first introduced to Langa by the late South African cricket coach Bob Woolmer in 1987.

Woolmer, who used to run cricket coaching clinics in the township, wanted his cricketers to stay active during the cricket off-season.

He achieved a real coup by introducing a sport which is rarely played in most of South Africa’s disadvantaged communities.

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