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Empty promises mean athlete won’t vote

“The politicians and councillors want our votes but do nothing for us.”

The East Athletics Club middle-distance runner, Gift Nkosi, said she will not vote in the May 29 elections due to the empty promises and a lack of trust in politicians.

The top runner bemoaned the lack of proper sports fields in Etwatwa, especially a track and field facility, which would make it easier for her to prepare better for track races, like her specialist 5 000m event.

“I’m not ready to vote. The politicians and councillors want our votes but do nothing for us,” Nkosi said.

Gift Nkosi won’t vote on May 29.

“We don’t have proper training facilities. We use an open veld but cannot train at the moment because of the overgrown grass. There’s the Sazakhele ground, which was graded recently. We train there now,” Nkosi said.

Nkosi won a bronze medal at the Athletics South Africa (ASA) junior track and field championships in the 5 000m in March. She was also fifth in the 3 000m at the same competition.

“I wasn’t expecting the results I got because I was new in the 5 000m. I’d never run the distance because I thought it was hard, but I’m happy with my results.”

With the track and field season starting next year, the runner might be unable to replicate that performance due to a lack of training fields, she said.

Gift Nkosi (back, second from right) with her teammates during the CGA cross-country third league meeting in Kwa-Thema on May 18.

She said the fact that she trains on a cross-country field will always be disadvantageous, especially during the track season.

“This has affected my career a lot. For instance, I can’t maintain or improve my times because I can’t measure the exact distance I must run in the cross-country field we train in now. We need a proper track to prepare ourselves.

“I need a facility where I’d be able to see and maintain my running times. For instance, if I ran a certain time in the 800m, I must be able to beat that time in a session. On a cross-country field, I can’t see my time properly, which makes it difficult to prepare for competitions,” Nkosi said.

The runner dreams of competing at the world athletics championships one day but admitted she might not achieve it if an athletics track is not erected in Etwatwa and Daveyton.

Gift Nkosi won bronze at the ASA juniors nationals in March.

“I want to be a good example in my community. Our people don’t believe you can make it in life when you come to an area such as Etwatwa. I want them to see it is possible to make it even with all our struggles. I want to see myself at the worlds in our colours, representing SA.

“The lack of facilities demotivates me. I often lose hope that I can’t break certain records and may not be able to achieve personal milestones.”

She said she would like to see the community rally behind them and urged the CoE to build them an athletics stadium.

Also Read: Hickley continues sublime form to qualify for nationals

Also Read: Local athletes dominate at CGA track and field meeting


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