Fun-filled Nomzamo athletics day

The community of Nomzamo in Lwandle played host to the fifth leg of the Western Province Athletics (WPA) Street Athletics series for 2018 on Wednesday 29 August.

Hosts, Lwandle Athletics Club provided an exciting fun-filled afternoon after a month-long break from the series, owing to some cancellations.

Jakes Jacobs, WPA vice-president, was elated by the occasion.

He said street athletics belongs to the people, and the community of Nomzamo has shown his organisation that when programmes start at grassroots level, children are upskilled and opportunities exist for them to showcase their talent, ubuntu is fostered and the whole neighbourhood shows its support.

Hundreds of running enthusiasts of all ages flocked to Lumka Street to support the festivities, with a DJ pumping local favourite songs to lighten the mood, while some of WPA’s top track and field, cross country and road running athletes volunteered their time as technical officials at the event.

Says Jacobs: “Communities such as this one play a vital role in supporting the #OneDreamOneTeam motto we as WPA aspire to and supporting athletics development at grassroots level is an important aspect of the overall development programme.

“Today was once again testament to the fact that running is alive and well in our communities.”

The first of the Street Athletics events was hosted by the Eerste River Athletics Club on 21 February.

The club had a good understanding of what was to be done prior to the event, which led to an increase in participation and the club confirming it would love to be part of the series in 2019.

On 13 March, the second street athletics event in Atlantis took place, with hosts Velocity Athletics Club proving a good set-up with ample space along the roads and keen club helpers to assist the event provided an exciting leg, with the event running smoothly.

The highlights of the Atlantis event were a mass participation and the parents’ race, which was a crowd favourite on the day.

The third Street Athletics event, scheduled for 16 May in Capricorn Park, Muizenberg, was cancelled due to unrest in the area at the time.

Although the event was cancelled, the club in question indicated it would like to be involved in future.

The fourth event was cancelled by the host club, the Khayelitsha Athletics Club, owing to unforeseen circumstances.

WPA Head of Development Michael Schouw expressed his satisfaction with the series, ahead of the sixth and penultimate leg.

“Street Athletics, coupled with giving back to our communities, shows ubuntu still exists on many levels,” he said. “We work closely with communities to identify and develop local talent, to illustrate how our collective efforts can help rebuild communities through partnerships.”

WPA Street Athletics is a series of community-focused events to which all youngsters are invited to participate and compete against each other in over short and medium distances.

The ultimate aim of the programme is that all children, from all areas, feel welcome to participate in events through which athletics are taken to communities and the people.

The programme provides the opportunity for WPA to broaden its existing prospects within sport and other non-sports related areas.

The 2018 Street Athletics series has two events left for this calendar year, Top Form on Wednesday 12 September and Bottelaray on Wednesday 24 October.

For more information, please contact Development Officer, Kurt Cameron on development@wpathletics.co.za or 021 418 3232.