The Committee of Limpopo Schools Athletics announced a strong team comprising 136 athletes that will represent the province at the upcoming South African Schools Athletics Championships.
The team was selected at the Limpopo Schools Athletics Track and Field Championship for primary and secondary schools held at the old Peter Mokaba Stadium last weekend.
The venue for the primary school championships will be Kenneth Mcarthur Athletics Stadium in Potchefstroom from 24 to 25 March, while the secondary schools team will represent the province at Kings Park Athletics Stadium in Durban from 29 to 1 April.
Peter Maluleke, Secretary of Limpopo Schools Athletics said the primary schools team will be represented by 80 athletes selected out of 900 contestants who competed on the day. “They will take part in field and track events and we are hopeful that they will do the province proud at the nationals,” Maluleke said.
At Kings Park Stadium, 56 athletes selected out of 1 000 participants representing the five districts will battle for top honours. “These are the best athletes from the province. We believe they will do us proud and bring back home those medals,” Maluleke said.
In terms of representation Waterberg leads with 22 secondary and 27 primary members followed by Capricorn with 19 and 23 respectively. Mopani has 16 representatives, eight each in the secondary and primary teams. Whule Sekhukhune has only two secondary members its primary contingent boasts 16. Vhembe district has five each.
Explaining Waterberg and Capricorn’s dominance in all the teams Maluleke said the two districts have been doing well over the past years and one of the reasons is that most of the athletes are in former Model C schools and private schools . “Their schools are highly advanced in infrastructure and development programmes. Most of the athletes have private coaches and are affiliated to clubs and that bodes well for them and us,” Maluleke said.
He predicted good performances from William Thulare , u.17 hurdler from Waterberg, Lara Schutter middle distance runner from Mopani district , young sprinter Jovan Krause from Waterberg and talented shot-putter Liné Schlesinger from Vhembe.
“These are the athletes that give us hope. Lara came back home with a bronze medal last year in the secondary schools. It is her final year and she promised us that she will win a gold medal. Jovan won gold in 2015 and we think he can do it again. As for Liné and William we were impressed by their overall performances at the provincial championships and I think they will come back home with medals,” Maluleke said.
Story and photos: HERBERT RACHUENE
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