Do what it takes, says Mathane

On Friday (1 November 2019), at The Innovation Hub in Pretoria, Athletics Gauteng North (AGN) President; John Mathane presented official national kit to six Para-athletes  selected to represent South Africa at the Para Athletics World Championships taking place in Dubai this month (7–15 November).

The six track and field specialists from Gauteng, who are associated with Pretoria-based IsAbility Sports Club, forms part of a squad of 35 athletes and officials that will fly South Africa’s flag at this important stop ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics and beyond.

“Athletics Gauteng North is proud to pledge its support to our disabled athletes. We aim to continue this commitment going forward, towards the 2020 and 2024 Games. To the athletes; remember what wearing the green and gold means to you, and to the country as a whole,” said Mathane adding that they should “do what it takes to bring home the medals”.

Now in its 10th year, IsAbility Sports Club was launched by IceXpress Progressive Prosthetics’ Johan Snyders; (his involvement in disabled sport dates back to the 2008 Paralympics when T44 sprinter, Arnu Fourie came onto the scene); to provide a platform for athletes living with physical disabilities to participate at the highest level.

The six from Gauteng headed to Dubai are; Mandilene Hoffman (F44), Simoné Kruger (F38), Sheryl James (T37), Manie Blom (F12), Daniël du Plessis (T62) and blade-sprinter Ntando Mahlangu (T61); who made headlines in 2016 when he won 200m silver for South Africa at the Rio Paralympics at only 14 years of age.

“I am extremely proud of this group going to represent South Africa at senior World Champs. This is a building phase for us. With 2020 around the corner and the goal being 2024; it is exciting to see these young athletes already on world-class standard.

The selection criteria, in disabled athletics, are strict. You have to be a medal contender, rank in the top six in your division, to be considered. This group is a good example of our contingency plan; young talent coming through, and seniors to help lead the way. I am sure we will see some Dubai gold” concluded Snyders.

For more information contact Liezel van Rensburg on +27 82 550 9294 / liezel@e-ditor.co.za