Schools health:MEC sets pace

2011-04-11 00:00

KWAZULU-Natal Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo (53) is ready to run his first Comrades Marathon.

Dhlomo is participating in the marathon as a way of promoting a healthy lifestyle to prevent various diseases.

“I started getting adventurous one morning last year when I told my driver that I was not going to the gym by car. I walked the eight kilometres from home to the gym and I never looked back,” said Dhlomo.

In preparation for the Comrades, the MEC runs 12 to 15 kilometres in the mornings and in the evenings he goes to the gym, according to his personal trainer Sipho Ngxongo. And the MEC’s bodyguards have had to get fit too as he exercises with them. He also has the full support of his family.

Although his work schedule sometimes interferes with training, the MEC always makes up for the time lost.

The MEC said at his age he is healthy and ready to hit the tarmac come race day.

“I dream of a South Africa where children at school are put into programmes after school where they can exercise and play sport.

“When children are kept busy with exercises and sport after school, that limits the chances of teenage pregnancy and drug abuse.

“During the day parents are at work and when the children get home after school they get up to mischief, so keep them busy at school until knock-off time,” said Dhlomo.

He said this would be beneficial to both the youth and the parents as less money would be spent on medical bills.

Ngxongo said the MEC is in a good shape to reach the finishing line in 10 hours — two hours less than the cut-off time.

Dhlomo will be running under the banner of Phumanathi Athletics Club, which was formed last year. It comprises more than 400 youth from Durban and surrounding areas.

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