In conversation with Teemaneng Running Club
We recently chatted with Pulane Pharasi one of the co-founders of Teemaneng Running Club. We’ve learned that she helps coordinate the timing for club races as well as external races throughout the community. Pulane gave us information about the club and their aim to unearth grassroot talent by scouting for young aspirant runners from poor communities and schools mainly in Frances Baard District in order to give them an opportunity to take part in major races around the province and the country.
1. What spurred the initiative to start a running club in the community?
The running fraternity is growing in the country and Kimberley, or the Northern Cape, is no exception in this regard.
We could either have one or two running clubs growing big in terms of numbers or establish a new club to accommodate the influx of new runners, particularly social runners.
The problem with a big running club is that it becomes difficult to cater for the individual needs of every runner, a moderately sized running club is good. We therefore decided to start a new club in Kimberley/Northern Cape to cater for the needs of a certain cohort of social runners.
Secondly, all running clubs in Kimberley are basically exclusively social running clubs with no developmental aspect. We therefore also saw a need for a developmentally focussed running club. Our mission is to scout for grassroots talent, support and nurture it by creating a platform for them to take part in races in the province and in the country. We do this with a vision of developing and producing future elite runners from the province.
2. When / Where do the members meet?
We have club runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 17h00 at the Sol Plaatje University sports grounds. We run distances of 5km, 8km and a walk and run around the field.
We also have club runs on Saturdays, starting at 07h00 at the Awie Botha Engen Garage in Long Street. We run distances of 5km; 10km; 15km; 20km; and 25km/30km.
3. Why should people be interested in joining the Club?
Well, running is the cheapest way of staying healthy, being a runner has both physical and health benefits. We are a social club which caters for people from diverse backgrounds, this makes our club quite bubbly and exciting, a good place to unwind and make new friends whilst exercising.
4. How many people are part of the club?
So far, the club consists of just over 50 members, and this in less than two months since its affiliation with both Athletic Griqualand West (AGW) and Athletic South Africa (ASA). We also accommodate non-members who come to our club runs just to run with us.
5. What is the Reason behind the name Teemaneng running club?
We wanted a name that tells people where the club is from, when our runners run with our club colours and name in races across the country and all over the world, they should carry an identity that tells people where the club is from.
Its common knowledge that Kimberley is called the “City of Diamonds” so the name Teemaneng was almost an obvious choice. It is Setswana for a “Place of Diamonds”. We also needed an African name because we are Africans.