Raising champions

2018-07-10 06:00
Saiedien Milward (56) from Heideveld during a training session earlier this year. PHOTO: Roger sedres

Saiedien Milward (56) from Heideveld during a training session earlier this year. PHOTO: Roger sedres

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“Uplifting children in my community through athletics is my greatest passion and I will continue to commit myself to them until they have succeeded one day.”

These are the words of 56-year-old Saiedien Milward from Heideveld who spends his afternoons training young children from across the Cape Flats to become top athletes.

Milward, a club member of Central Athletics and an expert in the athletic fraternity, works with children as young as 14, and has already raised several athletic champions within a short period of time.

“Running is my passion. I have contributed more than 32 years of life to running and would now like to share my experience with young children in my community and surrounding areas. I do this with the aim of developing them into strong winning athletes,” he explains.

“I work with 15 children hailing from different communities, which include Athlone, Manenberg, Langa and Lansdowne. There is nothing more heart-warming than helping these children from various backgrounds and with various challenges, to fulfil their dreams.”

But Milward only decided to take on the challenge of helping children through athletics late last year.

“I used to think a lot about how I can spend my time in my community. One day, after training athletes at Bridgetown High School, I came across a group of children and asked them if they wanted to train with me. They came back to me after confirming it with their parents, and we immediately started training.”

The passionate community worker does not train his team in his community, but takes the group out into tough locations. Some of the routes include areas in Newlands, Rondebosch, Cape Town and Green Point, and this to also give them a feel for an area outside their own.

“I took on the challenge to make it my duty to fetch these children every afternoon for training. When we are done I drop them at home and have discussions with their parents to check if they are up to date with their education first before enjoying their sports.

“There is so much potential and extreme talent in these children and I can assure myself that they will one day be on the top charts for the country, through their passion for athletics. They might only be as young as 14 and 17, but they already have the strength and heart of an experienced champion, and are more than ready for the Olympics­.”V Continued on page 4.

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