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Local club targets more podium finishes

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“I primarily used the Pretoria event organised by Skosana to check their standard against that of comparable athletes”

The Galeshewe-based Refilwe Athletics Club (RAC) started out early this year spurred on by their stated plan to make podium finishes in this season’s junior track and field events for development teams.

Club manager and middle distance athlete Refilwe Mabilo was up early on Monday morning taking her junior charges through a brisk run and fitness fix around the revamped Galeshewe Stadium athletics track.

Junior female short distance runner Rethabile Mogadile (12) joined her three male colleagues for this first training session. Mabilo says Mogadile is one of her focal points this season.

“My plan is to train her to attain top running status among the elite junior runners in the country. I was happy with the result she achieved in Pretoria last year. She got a good position in the mile event, it’s almost about 1500 distance.

“She (Mogadile) clocked five minutes in that one. She was narrowly beaten by the daughter of Enoch Skosana who was hosting us (as tournament organiser in Pretoria). That is quite remarkable in that Skosana runs a well-resourced academy in Durban”, Mabilo said.

Mabilo revealed that Mogadile has been invited to take part in a week-long training session at the Pretoria University’s School of Excellence centre in March.

The plan is for Mogadile to go for trials in a SA junior athletics event in June. Thereafter, depending on her assessment results for the June trials Mogadile may be invited to take up a full-time posting to the school in the next school year (2021).

All Mogadile will need is a clearance from her school in Galeshewe.

Tlotlo Moleme (16) is the next athlete Mabilo targets for special attention. Moleme specialises in the 10km distance.

He too was a participant in the event which took place at the Kgosi Mampuru track event in Pretoria. But while in Pretoria he had opted to take part in the shorter 5km event where he placed a distant 10th in his race.

Mabilo’s other charges Vuyani Chirwa placed second in the mile event in Pretoria while Thapelo Mokae took silver in his 5km event.

“I primarily used the Pretoria event organised by Skosana to check their standard against that of comparable athletes,” Mabilo told the DFA.

The tasks Mabilo undertook are quite burdensome. She herself is still green in the athletics stakes. She let it be known that she too needs assistance for her own personal development in the sport.

She said she recognises that there is a greater need to nurture more talent out there and has devised means to step in where she can to make a difference.

Mabilo who was formerly trained by Kimberley based ultramarathon runner Anthony Kgano will not, however, allow her lack of experience hamper her passion.

“I will make a plan to see how to develop these juniors with help from the bigger teams as I am a part of a development club,” she said.

“I’d like to thank the people who made me shine since 2017,” Mabilo added. “They are Riana van der Merwe, Theo Senekal Snr, (AGW President), the principal of Montshiwa primary school, AGW officers, Lerato Banda of Teemaneng AC, the DFA and our parents.

“2020 is all about hard work for us” Mabilo concluded.