Phora gives back to his home community via coaching clinics

Olympian mentors kids in Mamelodi

Thapelo Phora of Team South Africa competes in the Men's 4x400 metres.
Thapelo Phora of Team South Africa competes in the Men's 4x400 metres.
Image: Cameron Spencer

Olympian Thapelo Phora is ploughing back to his community by conducting coaching clinics for children in his hometown of Mamelodi.

Phora, 29, made his debut at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, in July, and he is back to give back to his community.

The 2018 African 400m silver medalist has identified a gap in his community, and he is eager to teach the kids what he has learned in the sport.

On Sunday, he started his first clinics with the kids in Mamelodi, and it turned to be a success as many children attended.

“I received a hero’s welcome in Mamelodi when I returned from the Olympics Games, and I decided that every Sunday at 4pm I have to take the children to the training grounds to teach athletics skills. I shared my experience with them how I started and what I achieved in the sport,” Phora told Sowetan yesterday.

Phora participated in the 400m and 4x400m relay at his first Olympics, and he learned valuable lessons there. He finished fifth in the 400m heats clocking 45.83 to drop out of the competition. In the relay, he finished in seventh place in 3:01:18 with Lythe Pillay, Zakiti Nene, and Ranti Dikgale.

“I learned a lot in Tokyo. I want to work hard to qualify for the World Championships in the USA and the Commonwealth Games in England next year,” said Phora.

For the time being, Phora’s focus is on the kids, and he wants to see them off the streets to chase their dream as he did.

His mother and grandmother taught him to never give up, and he wants the kids to reach for their dreams.

“I grew up without the presence of my father. I want to convince and inspire the kids that dreams come true. My mother cooked rice and mince for them to enjoy. I told them that recovery is vital in sport. I hope to get sponsors from supermarkets. These kids come from disadvantaged backgrounds and do not have running gear. On Sundays, I will take them to the sports fields to teach them the drills and techniques about the sport,” added Phora.

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.