Falcons’ Athletic stars shine at awards banquet

2017-12-21 06:00
Falcons members (from left) Marlene Moodley, Krish Vadivelu and Cindeera Padavattan.

Falcons members (from left) Marlene Moodley, Krish Vadivelu and Cindeera Padavattan.

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THE Checkout Verulam Falcons AC hosted its 20th awards banquet with much pomp and celebration on December 9. The president for KZN athletes Sello Mokoena was one of the honoured guests.

Mokoena gave an inspirational and motivating welcome speech. Special 20th year tokens were presented to current and past members who dedicated their lives and brought honour to the club. However, the night belonged to Falcons’ athletic stars.

The leading star male was Derrick Bafana Gumede who wooed with his performances at Comrades and Chatsworth Freedom Ultra Marathon 2017. Gumede came 7th in the Chatsworth Ultra. His 6:26 silver medal finish earned him an overall 61st position at Comrades. His outstanding 2017 season made him the Runner of the Year 2017 and the Sportsperson of Year 2017 in the athletics category.

Gumede and Nkosinathi Jila received cash prizes for attaining Comrades silver medals. They were the only athletes on the North Coast to complete Comrades in under seven hours.

Female runner of the Year 2017 belonged to Lindiwe Hlongwa. Her consistent performances include the sub-four hours at Durban City and Deloitte Marathons, 5:14 at Chatsworth Freedom Ultra and sub-10 hours at Comrades Ultra.

Falcons’ walking stars are well known for their podium finishes. Female Walker of the Year 2017, Celiwe Ndaba, has had four first-place finishes and three second-place finishes.

She has been instrumental in encouraging the ladies in the Waterloo area to take up the sport.

Ndaba has guided juniors’ athletes Phumelele Khuzwayo and Thalente Ngiba. Eddie Singh won the Male Walker of the Year 2017. Singh has had two first position finishes, two second positions and two third position finishes.

Emerging stars Benson Masuku and Nkosingophile Mkhize completed their first Comrades in 2017. The novices were presented with an award for their triumph.

Sub-nine hours finisher and Bill Rowan Medalist. Masuku was overwhelmed with the recognition from the club. Other Comrades special awardees were Sibusiso Aubrey Sangweni and Bonginkhosi Jeremia Ngubane.

Sangweni completed his 10th Comrades in 9:22 to attain his green number 37497 and a shield of recognition from the club.

Ngubane suffered an injury at the start of 2017. Nevertheless, he overcame it and secured his double green number with 20 Comrades finishes.

He was awarded a shield of recognition and a framed picture of him receiving the double green number from the Comrades Association. Maureen Gordon, Eddie Singh, Celiwe Ndaba, Rakash Gayadin and Ashwin Bidesi attended the full 49 time trials in 2017 season.

Vitasha Ramnarayan won the Sportsperson of the Year 2017 in the administration category.

Checkout Supermarket group sponsored the club’s athletic race at Kingspark Stadium and fun runs at Verulam Secondary grounds.

Asmal’s Hypersave, under the management of Ebrahim Asmal, sponsored the time trials and Hypersave Development League Series.

Asmal sponsored the floating cup trophies for sports person in the two categories - administration and athletics.

Verulam Day Care Centre, Verulam Secondary and Solly M Sports received citation awards for their assistance and contributions towards the club’s endeavors.

Checkout Verulam Falcons AC thanked guests, sponsors, volunteers, service providers, members and families.

Their contributions and attendance made the 20th anniversary and awards banquet a spectacular event.

- Supplied.

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