Local runners shine

MARAPONG — A cross country running team from Tielelo Secondary School, led by Solomon Murumuni, obtained an overall fifth position in the LIMA Sports Championships held at Turfloop (University of Limpopo Campus) on 14 April.

Murumuni is an experienced runner, having achieved the 26th position at the annual NASREC Soweto Marathon in 2015. (This run earned Solomon the front page of the
6 November 2015 edition of Mogol Post)

The cross-country team from Tielelo consists of 14 runners between the ages of 13 to 25 who ran various distances from 4 km to 21 km. “The first competition is always hard for first time runners and they did extremely well considering they only started to practise two months ago. This is a milestone for us,” Solomon said.

Solomon says he doesn’t want to put pressure on any of the athletes, but with the experience obtained at Turfloop, he would like to see his team in at least position three on overall performance in the next competition.

The young team was supported by the teachers from Tielelo Secondary School and Play23’s Technical Director, Mr RJ Lekalakala. Lekalakala said the team really impressed him and they could do even better with the support of the community.

“The team needs help with transport, kits and food for the long trips. We would also appreciate any technical help as well. We are very grateful to Play23 for assisting with media coverage, first aid assistance and affiliation fees for some of our runners and our teachers as well as the school for providing meals during the trip to the University of Limpopo,” says Solomon.

“We would love to see more people support us at Mogol Club – the entrance is free. We do however understand that we won’t have lots of support outside Lephalale, but people’s support gives us more courage”.

Most of the runners are beginners and they would really use your support especially family, friends and school mates.

Seeing their counterparts in full running kits, muscled and with people cheering for them was an intimidating sight for the novice runners, however, once the gun went off, most of the counterparts whom were intimidating fell behind.

Solomon’s dream is beyond the race: “Of course I want them to win, grow and be professional athletes, but my dream is to distance as many kids as possible from drugs, alcohol and crime. I have seen my peers fall victim to such behaviour because we had no role models and no inspiration or motivation when growing up. I want to show and tell the youth that talent can also pave your future. We recently saw Caster Semenya break world records and so can we. My dream is to see young people dedicated to their talents and make a living from them,” he said.

According to Solomon, the team has no official name yet, but they are working on it. “At the moment it is more important to see this ‘ship’ taking off,” Solomon concludes.

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