One of the ways we intend to do this is to run the 2018 London Marathon to raise funds for the charity Endurocad (www.endurocad.co.za).
|Dugald Robertson (2010F): "Charles and I are extremely grateful for the many wonderful opportunities our country has given us. We would like to provide similar opportunities for our fellow young South Africans. |
Our journey began some years ago as students when we volunteered to assist at an Endurocad Athletics Camp. We had both engaged in outreach programs, coached rowing, rugby, cricket, and football respectively. However, it was the Endurocad programme that exposed us to just how remarkable running can be in providing opportunities to people of all race, gender, class and cultural groups. Neither of us are seasoned runners so we approached the camp with respectful caution. We needn’t have. We soon discovered that we were the ones who discovered how sport, and specifically running, can be used as a vehicle for personal development and transformation.
Reasons for running vary from individual to individual. It might be to improve on your best performance. To be the very best you can and discover your unlimited potential. To lead a healthy lifestyle. To develop a hobby. To change your lifestyle. To develop a recreational interest, or to avoid gangsters by staying off the streets during the holidays. There were many more reasons at the camp. But what we experienced was first hand evidence of Madiba’s oft quoted comment that “sport has the ability to unite”.
Running places no barriers on our participation. It is the purest and most simple of human endeavours. A form of mobile meditation. A soothing balm for a demanding lifestyle. A therapy that comes from breathing deeply at one with nature and oneself. From the time we learn to walk we want to move faster, we want to run, and we discover that running is one step harder that walking, that we can all run by simply placing one foot in-front of the other again, and again and again.
Even when racing I discovered the individual uniqueness of the contest; the apprehensive person wanting to finish their first race, the the person recovering from cancer who has been given a second chance, the elite athlete wanting to qualify for the Olympics – all are winners, all strive for their own personal victory. Just by running you become a winner. This notion we discovered to be absurd in its simplicity. Running gives even the most desperate of us HOPE.
Running is a truly egalitarian endeavour. When you line-up, nothing gives you an advantage over the person standing next to you. Unlike the other sports we have coached, you cannot gain an unfair advantage through purchasing more expensive equipment than your competitors. Running requires no complex rules, no expensive training equipment and facilities, running requires only – you. If you look at your average Saturday morning road race you will see just how easy access is, how low the barriers to entry are and how diverse the competitors are. Running truly has the capacity to unite. The Endurocad Camps are designed specially to achieve this.
The courses were on goal planning, motivation, nutrition, training and practice lessons. To help a township child overcome her fear of heights and get to the top of Stellenbosch mountains was as exciting as seeing a high school child realise they could qualify for provincial colours. I honestly believe that these camps expose people to the great lifestyle sport of running, to a life of purpose, improved health and a healthy lifestyle.
It is for this reason that Charles and I are running London Marathon to raise funds for this worthy cause – to change the quality of young people’s lives and provide them with opportunities and skills to grow, develop and succeed.
Any contribution will be welcomed, from R1 per kilometre we complete [there are 42.2km in all], or a lump sum, each cent will create opportunities for young people to lead a healthy, productive and meaningful life. The cost per athlete to attend the camp is R55 000 - with the funds raised Endurocad can give more young athletes opportunities to attend the camps that can change their lives. Read here (www.noleneconrad.co.za ) about an incredibly inspirational story of one of South Africa’s running successes, Nolene Conrad, who says her attendance of an Endurocad camp has really transformed her.
"I am very grateful for the support I have received from Endurocad and believe that the opportunity I was given in 2014 to attend my first camp has transformed me as an athlete and has elevated my career. Endurocad has given me the opportunity to strive for excellence, to empower myself with skills and knowledge to not only be a better athlete but also to give back to the next generation. My dream is to represent SA in the Marathon at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and with the continued support of Endurocad I believe that it is possible. My wish is for many more athletes to be exposed to these camps so that they can realize the wonderful benefits of Sport."
So if you decide to support our cause please find our Give and Gain profiles below: