Future stars already flying

2017-02-21 06:00
Former athletic star Alan O’Ryan and Play Sport4Life founder Miles October (right) congratulate Yonela Mondli (front left) and Precious Kutuna of HJ Kroneberg Primary School. They won victor and victrix ludorum at a recent athletics meeting.

Former athletic star Alan O’Ryan and Play Sport4Life founder Miles October (right) congratulate Yonela Mondli (front left) and Precious Kutuna of HJ Kroneberg Primary School. They won victor and victrix ludorum at a recent athletics meeting.

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There are already some names from Kensington to take note of for the record books of the future, because there are some shining stars on the athletics track.

Keep the names of Caleb Solomons, Yonela Mondli and Precious Kutuna in mind, as they are three primary school athletes who are destined to break records in a few years with the right coaching and mentoring.

Solomons smashed the u.12 1200m record, which stood for eight years, at the schools athletics meeting on Wednesday 8 February at Vygieskraal. Mondli and Kutuna were the victor and victrix ludorum respectively.

Solomons is a learner of Kenmere Primary School. Mondli and Kutuna attend HJ Kroneberg Primary School.

The athletics meet, under the auspices of the Maitland Schools Sports Union, was hosted by Sunderland Primary School with organisational help from not-for-profit organisation Play Sport4Life.

Miles October, the head of Play Sport4Life, says the performances of Solomons, Mondli and Kutuna were phenomenal.

“I am very excited about these young talents,” he says.

“Solomons beat the old record of 4:30 by 12 seconds, while Mondli and Kutuna took first place in three events each. They were both tops in the 80m and 100m sprints as well as the long jump.

“These young athletes give me hope for the future that we can produce stars like Wayde van Niekerk and Caster Semenya again.

“They are rough diamonds and with the right coaching and discipline we can turn them into future track and field stars.”

October explains that he is passionate about finding these young talents and raising them to the next level in their sport.

“We have a team of athletics coaches led by a past 400m star, Alan O’Ryan, who would welcome the opportunity to develop their skills,” he says.

“Alan is a good judge of talent and he believes that they can achieve great times and distances in their events.

“This is the reason Play Sport4Life has involved itself with the various schools athletics meetings these past two months. We not only see to the organisational work on the day, we also help identify talent and offer them the opportunity of attending our community coaching clinics.

“These young athletes have the potential to be rolemodels for their fellow learners. That is one of our prime objectives.”

October says his organisation is operating in the Kensington, Factreton and Maitland areas to provide opportunities for children and adults to participate in sport. In doing this, it helps them become healthier, more responsible citizens in their community.

“We want to keep our youth off the streets and in a safe environment where they can play, have fun and learn basic principles and values such as teamwork and respect,” he says.

“Using the sporting environment we can educate the children in our community about dealing with everyday dangers such as substance abuse, gangsterism, domestic violence and having unprotected sex.

“It’s also about showing children that there are alternatives to the negative influences in their communities, the gangsters who can influence them while parents are working and not able to supervise them.

“There is also employment opportunities for individuals in our community within the sporting environment where we can develop the youth to serve as future rolemodels for our community.

“We’ve also seen too many talents just disappear when they leave school. We want to help them see their potential and become professional athletes.”

V For more information on Play Sport4Life call Miles October on 021 461 4436 or visit www.playsport4life.org.

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