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Development runners reach new heights at Pirates Road Running

GREENSIDE – Local men in need have a knack for speed.

Pirates Road Running is looking for women to sponsor for its development initiative.

Since starting the programme by sponsoring the running membership, kit, shoes and travel of a caretaker this year, the initiative has seen great success.

The initiative now boasts six men of various backgrounds flying the Pirates flag high in the top echelons of the running fraternity.


Immanuel Makhafola, Calvin Tsholoba, Jack Makganyoha and Thabang Mmolawa have enjoyed incredible new experiences with Pirates Road Running this year. Photo: Nicholas Zaal

The greatest result of the initiative must be the experiences these men have had – most have competed in races they never thought possible, and one man flew on an aeroplane for the first time, saw the sea for the first time and raced with the best at the Comrades Marathon.

“Pirates runners have to be members of Pirates Sports Club, which we know can be expensive for many people,” said club chairperson, David Case.

“We realised this is not open to everyone so we wanted to give back. Our club does not have the biggest development programme, but the guys we are helping are local and have a real passion for running.”

He said the criteria for which the club accepted runners for its programme did not include running ability, but merely locality, limited means and desire.

“Now these six runners are among our top 10 in the club already.”

READ: Pirates is ready to host this year’s hat run 

The caretaker, Jack Makganyoha (44) struggled to find the words to describe what it was like going to Durban, seeing the sea and racing in the Comrades, all for the first time.

“It is the best memory,” he said.

Calvin Tsholoba (30), who is currently without work but says he is a full-time runner, said, “I just started running and I want to improve. Pirates treat us nicely. I want to win gold and make them proud.”

Immanuel Makhafola (29), who says he does various jobs, commended Pirates members for their friendliness and how “when I am down they keep me going”.

Case added that the club had no more room for men in its development initiative, but would welcome some women.

Details: Pirates Sports Club info@piratesclub.co.za; 011 646 5025.

ALSO READ: Pirates weightlifter Nathan Morris aims for the Olympic Games 

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