East London Ironman athletes call for more support

2017-02-02 07:18
Ashwell Isaacs, who took part in the Standard Bank Ironman 70.3 mile event in East London, with members of his family. (Siphokazi Vuso, GroundUp)

Ashwell Isaacs, who took part in the Standard Bank Ironman 70.3 mile event in East London, with members of his family. (Siphokazi Vuso, GroundUp)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Siphokazi Vuso, GroundUp

East London - Busisiwe Sintili, 27, lives in Duncan Village. She says she never misses a race in her home town.

But on Sunday, when the 10th edition of the Standard Bank Ironman race took place in East London, Sintili could only watch: she does not own a bike and she cannot swim.

The event consisted of three parts: first a 1.9km swim in the ocean off East London's Orient Beach, then a 90.1km cycle, and finally a half-marathon run 21.1km.

In all it's a gruelling 113.1km. The SABC reported that the men's event was won by Frenchman Romain Guillaume and the women's event was won for the seventh consecutive time by Jodie Cunnama from the UK.

"There are no public swimming pools in my township where I could learn to swim and I don't know how to ride a bike because I never had one," said Sintili. "Running is better because you don't need much.

"Running can be hard though sometimes. Where I live you can get robbed or raped, so I can't train in the evenings."

Sikelela Kakele, 25, from Mdantsane works as a seasonal lifeguard. He is also a volunteer instructor at a local gym.

He finished the Ironman event, but described the difficulties he has participating in these events: "One of the challenges I have is with training. I should be on a special diet in order to perform well in every race but I can't afford it. As a result I had cramps throughout the race," he said. This is the third time he has competed in the Ironman.

New sports development office

Although he is part of the Buffalo City triathlon team that is sponsored for every race, he says the money is not enough.

"It helps a lot with putting us in the race, paying the registration fee, giving us a bike and a wetsuit.

"But the rest you have to figure out for yourself. More should be done especially for athletes like me who are unemployed," he said.

He said he had qualified twice for world championships but had not been able to go because of lack of funding. He has qualified for the South African championships for the third time this year. He wants to go to the world championships this year and to coach young people who are interested in sports.

Bulelwa Buso came to support Kakele. She said she wished there were more sponsors in schools and townships "where underprivileged young people who love to be part of this can be assisted". Parents and teachers should encourage young people to participate in sport, she said.

Siya Daweti, 21, from New Brighton, Port Elizabeth also finished the Ironman. He said if it weren't for his team who helped him get a bike and offered him transport to East London he wouldn't have been able to take part.

Buffalo City Municipality told GroundUp it has established a new sports development office. The mayor's spokesperson Ayabulela Ngoqo said the city was working with communities, schools, and clubs to develop sports in townships and rural areas.

Read more on:    east london

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

/World
 

Cute pet pictures can improve your relationship!

It’s true! A new study shows animal pics can bring back the spark.

 
 

Paws

7 weirdly awesome pets you can own
Pack theory: fact or fiction?
Perfect dog-walking 1: Why dogs pull on the lead
SA stats: The role of pets in families
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.