Athletes and coaches from all over the Eastern Cape will get a head start in 2016 when a host of top coaches come together to help develop the province’s talent ahead of athletics season.
A coaching clinic, put together by Madibaz Athletics and hosted by Daniel Pienaar Technical High School in Uitenhage, will offer participants the opportunity to learn from some of the best coaches and athletes in the country from January 6 to 8.
Madibaz athletics manager Nellis Bothma said this clinic would bring together a group of professional coaches, each a specialist in their own track or field items, to help improve the standard of athletics in the province.
“All schools, athletes, and coaches are welcome to attend the clinic. The aim is to enhance the performance of both athletes and coaches in the Eastern Cape by satisfying the need for specialized, quality coaching,” said Bothma.
Gerrie Posthumus, 57, a sprint, hurdles and middle-distance running expert, is one of the coaches eager to share his knowledge at the event. His coaching career spans more than 30 years and he has achieved his level three coaching accreditation from both Athletics South Africa (ASA) and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
“The most important thing I have learnt is how to work with an athlete’s mind. Training counts for nothing if one’s head is not right; athletics is as much a mental game as it is a physical one,” said Posthumus.
“I do not want to protect any trade secrets. I want to share my knowledge and help grow athletics in our province. The Eastern Province team was the best at one stage and we want to get there again.”
He will be joined by, among others, hurdles coach Zirk Kemp, 34, who is also part of the hosting team at Daniel Pienaar. Kemp was a member of the South African team during his primary and high school career, is an ASA accredited coach and now shares his personal experience and knowledge with Madibaz athletes.
“This clinic has been held at Kirkwood High School in the past and attracted about 260 coaches and athletes on one occasion. That shows us the interest and need for quality coaching at this level,” said Kemp.
He said the first step towards better performing athletes was improving the local coaching standards.
“Coaching the coaches is probably more important than working with the athletes. These coaches then go back and share the knowledge they gained, further expanding the impact of our clinic.”
Other coaches in the line-up include javelin expert Vernon Oosthuizen, long-jump coach Thobela Thoba and Africa Games silver medallist Ischke Senekal among others.
For more information, cost and accommodation enquiries, contact Zirk Kemp on 084 582 1908, Erica Niemand on 041 922 9990 or Nellis Bothma on 082 575 1818.