Comrades gives R250?000 to develop KZN athletes

2009-11-11 00:00

IT’S not all gloom and doom in athletics. The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) last night presented Kwazulu-Natal Athletics with a cheque for R250 000 as a contribution towards the development of athletics in the province.

“Development covers a very broad spectrum of projects, but our focus of recent years commenced with the education of coaches and officials in the poorest and more far-flung areas of the province,” said Aleck Skhosana, KZN Athletics president. “The success of this strategy has been the number of young athletes, and particularly girls, who we are now able to assist to provincial and national competitions. The money raised by Comrades adds to the sustainability of the sport, improves performances and often is responsible for giving young athletes a future.”

The programme this year saw 35 youngsters make the finals at the SA Youth and junior championships, with nine of them bringing back four gold, four silver and five bronze medals. Seven athletes, including sprinter Justine Palframan and middle-distance athletes Senzo Nkosi and Zinhle Mtshali, have gone on to represent South Africa at regional, continental or world stage group level.

Said chairman Dave Dixon, “The Comrades is a non-profit organisation, which, through the running of the race, is able to raise funds for worthwhile causes. It is only correct that we should plough something back into the sport and in particular the grassroots and potential of our future athletes. Comrades have a holistic approach towards the sport. While the race attracts the more mature runner, our involvement in both the National Youth Run and this weekend’s Edendale 10 km targets the shorter distance and youth …”

The CMA are co-organisers of Sunday’s Greater Edendale five kilometre and 10 km road races, which offer over R13 000 in prize money to leading male and female runners over 15 years. The race starts from Wadley Stadium in Georgetown, Edendale, at 7.30 am and pre-entries are taken at Comrades House. Call 033 897 8650 for details.

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