Runners set to open club

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

Athletes from several Pretoria athletic clubs have decided to start their own running club.

Citing their need to determine their futures as the main reason for leaving their previous clubs, task team member Michael Matlala, who once belonged to the Irene Athletics Club, said they had yet to decide on a name for the new club.

"Although we are grateful to the white-owned clubs for their contribution to our progress in the sport, these clubs were no longer able to meet our needs," Matlala said.

"What people often don't realise is that as black professionals, we also don't take part in running only for running's sake, because being at events together is a great way to network and socialise.

"I was not getting that from my previous club, hence the decision to form the new one."

He said they have already assembled 25 disenchanted members whose primary concern is not to win prizes but to impart their knowledge for the betterment of their communities.

General manager of Athletics Gauteng North, Walter Vilakazi, said the organisation was unaware of these developments, but welcomed the concept of growth.

"The constitution allows anyone to open a club. We regard this as part of growth and it is about time people took on significant leadership roles," he said.