Two Oceans Marathon winner in 1997, 1998 and second in 1999. Zithulele Sinqe still holds the fastest marathon time ran on South African soil clocking 2:08,04 Photo: @SinqeFoundation on twitter

JOHANNESBURG – James Moloi, the president of Central Gauteng Athletics (CGA), could not speak highly enough of the upcoming Zet Sinqe Series scheduled for inauguration at the Kagiso Sports Complex on Sunday.

The Series, whose aim is to help identify young athletic talent through a series of races for the age groups from Under-13 to Under-19, is part of the Zithulele Sinqe Foundation’s drive to continue the legacy of the late great athlete who was passionate about unearthing talent.

“Without opportunity, we will never be able to identify talent, so we CGA is excited to be partnering with the Foundation in trying to unearth this new talent. We all have the hope and dream, that this becomes a national drive,” Moloi said. “This is the age group that we need to look at if we are to find the next generation of middle distance athletes.”

And it is through initiatives such as the Zet Sinqe Series that CGA believes hidden talent will not only be discovered but provided a platform to flourish.

The Series is not only focused on discovering young talent but will also provide academic opportunities.

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Zintle Mokoka, the daughter of Sinqe - a former SA marathon champion who won the Soweto and Two Oceans marathons twice - expressed her delight at finally being able to continue with her father’s passion of finding talent.

She is the co-founder of the Foundation along with her brother Siyabulela Sinqe as well as athlete Folavio Sehole. The Kagiso event is the first of two to be hosted this year with the second one scheduled for Orange Farm in October.

“My father’s passion was all about finding talent. He would forever be going out into rural areas to find and coach youngsters and we want to resurrect that.”

The trio are also keen on providing the talent they discover with the opportunity to have an academic career beyond sport.

“There needs to be more to it than only the athletics side of things. Kids need an opportunity to grow both physically and mentally and by hosting this street mile series, we are hoping that the scouts from schools that have a bursary scheme in place, will come and look at the talent and if the talent also fulfils the academic criteria, that they would then be offered a scholarship opportunity,” Siyabulela explained.

While the focus is on the mile and developing young middle distance athletes, there will also be a 5km fun run in the morning. The fun run is to encourage the families to have fun and also to enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Said Moloi: “South Africa has a history of middle and long distance excellence and we need to find and nurture that talent again. There was a time when South Africa was not only respected, but also feared on the global stage, in particular over that Half Marathon and Marathon.

This state needs to return.”

@Tshiliboy

 

The Star

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