Honouring Paton through sport

2018-09-28 06:00
PHOTOs: siphelele nketoRunners Nkosikhona Mhlakwana (left) and Maradona Ngcobo.

PHOTOs: siphelele nketoRunners Nkosikhona Mhlakwana (left) and Maradona Ngcobo.

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IN honour of an anti-apartheid activist and author Alan Paton, a 10 km Alan Paton Steam Train Race was held in Ixopo on Saturday, September 15. The event was held by Ubuhlebezwe Local Municipality together with the Alan Paton Foundation.

The 10 km race commenced at 8 am, starting at Carisbrooke Station and finishing at Ixopo Railway Station.

Ubuhlebezwe Local Municipality mayor Zamo Nxumalo said the municipality chose to honour Paton in order for children to know their history. He said the municipality is also promoting tourism.

“The Harry Gwala Marathon was first initiated by Ubuhlebezwe Municipality and, in four years, we have included Umzimkhulu Municipality and Harry Gwala District Municipality as part of promoting tourism.

“The legacy of Paton needs to be promoted and remembered,” said Nxumalo.

He said Ixopo Athletics Club and Genius Athletics Club, from Ixopo, contributed to the success of the event.

Nkosikhona Mhlakwana, from Boxer Athletics Club, came first at 32:20 followed by Maradona Ngcobo, from Hollywoodbets Athletics Club, at 32:25.

Speaking to the Fever, Mhlakwana said he will be running 42 km at the Cape Town Marathon, saying: “At the Cape Town Marathon, I want to do better than last time.”

Many people were inspired and cheered on in support when Pamela Martin and Corlett Roestof finished at 1hr 20m.

Jennet Mbele, representing Umzimkhulu Athletics Club, said: “I started with a slow pace, however, after running 6 km, I increased my speed until I got to the finish line.

“On September 9, I won the Mthatha Link Pharmacy Marathon 10 km race in a time of 36:00.”

Mbele finished the 10 km race in a time of 36:39.

Alan Paton was the author of the acclaimed novel Cry, the Beloved Country. He died on April 12, 1988 in Durban.

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