AGN paid R3,000 per runner in relief funds

Gauteng body helps athletes ease Covid stress

Akani Simbine wins the mens 200m final during Day 3 of the 2019 Sizwe Medical Fund & 3SixtyLife ASA Senior Track & Field and Combined Events Championships at the Germiston Athletics Stadium on April 27, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Akani Simbine wins the mens 200m final during Day 3 of the 2019 Sizwe Medical Fund & 3SixtyLife ASA Senior Track & Field and Combined Events Championships at the Germiston Athletics Stadium on April 27, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Roger Sedres/Gallo Images

Athletics Gauteng North (AGN) paid its athletes up to R3,000 each in Covid-19 relief funds to help them put food on the table.

Athletes are facing a difficult time with several races cancelled, but AGN eased their frustrations with the contribution. Athletics SA (ASA) opened its activities last week after suspending events for two weeks.

Most athletes are hoping to secure races in Europe to push for Olympic Games qualifying times.

But with limited competition locally, getting to Europe to attend athletics events costs an arm and a leg. But AGN assists its athletes to pay for 80% of their travel expenses abroad.

"We paid our athletes R3,000 each to help them support their families. I know that it's not much but it will help to fill the gap," said AGN president John Mathane. "We also assist them by paying 80% of their overseas travels. We try our best to make their lives easier and help financially, and to motivate them not to lose hope during an Olympic year."

The SA senior track and field championships will take place at the Pilditch Stadium in April. The cream of the crop in SA athletics will gather at the venue to try and qualify for the Olympics. 

Big-name athletes such as Caster Semenya, Akani Simbine, Thapelo Phora and Stephen Mokoka call AGN home. "Other provinces call us and request to host their athletics events here. We are making every effort to provide for our athletes," added Mathane.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic first hit South African shores in March 2020, frontline workers have worked tirelessly and at great personal risk. Stories of sacrifice and loss, both personal and professional, are plenty on the country's frontline. While infection numbers drop and the arrival of vaccines brings renewed hope, these workers have seen this trend before. They're gearing up for an inevitable third wave. From ambulance, to hospital, to graveyard - MultimediaLIVE takes you to the frontline of SA's fight against Covid-19.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X