TOP sportsman and mentor to many in Soweto Patrick Mabale Ribane died last Saturday.
Ribane was a popular marathon runner who ran sports projects in the townships.
He was born, with his twin sister Manthe, on March 13 1963 and grew up in Soweto. He attended Phenyo Primary School and Ibhongo High School. While in high school he played soccer for Mapetla Barcelona and earned himself the nickname "Banks".
He had a diploma in sports administration and management from TechnikonWitwatersrand.
This secured him a job in Secunda as a sports administrator and event organiser.
He developed basketball in Soweto along with Jack Masenya, Ben Tau and Albert Mokoena.
They formed the Soweto Basketball League, which hosted the American NBA in the late 1990s.
The league also found a home in the Godfrey Moloi Goodwill Games. They built basketball courts and ran tournaments as far afield as Venda in Limpopo.
Ribane was an ardent supporter and participant in the Department of Arts and Culture's Umchongolo Sports Festival, a revival of indigenous games of Africa.
He ran the Old Mutual Two Oceans and Nedbank City marathons. He loved running in the 10km to 42km events.
Ribane was an all-round sportsman. He took part in soccer, tennis, basketball, swimming, badminton, aerobics, volleyball, cycling and athletics.
He mentored the likes of Mickey Modisane of Orlando Pirates, Sammy Makgafela of Jomo Cosmos, Junior Ramovha, Speedy Matlhaku and many others.
He is survived by his mother Priscilla, twin Manthe, brother Steven and five children - Tebogo, Manthe, Khumo, Kokona and Ntsikelelo.
He will be buried at Avalon Cemeteryon Sunday.
A memorial service is scheduled to be held at Tshiawelo Community Centre today at 1pm.