Joel Stransky (centre) in action for South Africa against England. Photo: Action Images / Tont Henshaw

DURBAN – Given his rugby prowess, you would expect Joel Stransky to drop names such as Bruce Fordyce and Bongmusa Mthembu in explaining his inspiration to take up the challenge to run the Comrades Marathon.

After all, when you are the man who scored all the ‘goals’ in the final win that earned South Africa their first rugby World Cup title, it is logical that you be associated with superstardom.

The 1995 hero has decided to run from Durban to Pietermaritzburg as part of a challenge to do “the Big 5” sporting events in the land - his goal being to raise funds for his charity organisation Vision 2020.

“Our charity has a project that is about testing the eyesight of underprivileged kids and treating those that have problems to ensure that they are able to read and study so that they can have a brighter future,” Stransky explained during an interview at his company’s offices in Johannesburg.

“I always do the Cape Epic (cycling event) and a friend said to me let’s do them all. So we decided to add the Iron Man, Two Oceans, the Freedom Swim and Comrades to the equation.”

He has done all the events, and is confident of success in next weekend’s Comrades. “I am doing this for a much bigger purpose than me. I have been blessed in many ways through my life in rugby.

And to have been touched by Mandela, to understand his dream for our country has made me want to make a difference”

IOL Sport