Former South African middle distance runner Oupa Maruping is going back to his roots in Taung, North West, to assist in the development of the sport.
Maruping came back from the US two years ago, where he has lived for the past decade, after graduating with a BA degree in criminal justice in the US.
He has organised a 10km development road race in Podumong township on December 13 as part of his community awareness campaign.
There will also be a 5km fun run.
"I have been away for just over 10 years, but it is disappointing that there is not a single top athlete from Taung competing nationally," Maruping said yesterday.
"There is talent in abundance, that is why I have decided to use some of the big names in South African athletics to assist in the development of the game in Taung.
"I will be talking to my friends such as Khotso Mokoena, Ruben Ramolefi and Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, who are role models, to join us on that day.
"Khotso and the other guys will also be used to offer motivational talks. I will also be meeting the North West athletics bosses regarding my plans to develop the sport.
"It will also be important for schools to take the lead if we are serious about producing top sportsmen and women."
Maruping, who is now offering life orientation classes at Hoerskool Vorentoe in Jozi, will also meet the North West government and Greater Taung municipality.
"We want to form a solid partnership with the North West provincial government and Great Taung as we will also educate the youth about HIV-Aids.
"It will be an yearly event. We also urge the business sector in Greater Taung and North West in general to assist us with sponsorship."