Two of the Bestmed Madibaz Athletics Club’s leading performers, Ischke Senekal and Marianio Eesou, are using the lockdown period to work on their respective disciplines.
Like all their Nelson Mandela University colleagues, their season has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, but they are doing their best to stay active.
Long-distance runner Eesou said he was spending the lockdown with his coach, Karen Zimmerman, in the rural Eastern Cape resort of Hogsback.
“The training camp is sizeable enough to maintain an intensive programme without violating lockdown protocols,” he said.
“We are obviously not able to work towards any specific date or event and have thus set ourselves the goal of maintaining an optimal level of event preparedness until there is more clarity.”
Senekal, who specialises in the shot put and discus, is using the time work on her technique.
“I have my own circle at home [in Uitenhage], so I am doing my drills for shot as well as discus,” she said.
“My goal after lockdown is definitely to see when the SA national champs will be and then strive to do my best, as well as try to qualify for the Olympics, now in 2021.”
Madibaz Sport athletics manager Nellis Bothma has urged student-athletes to take what positive lessons they can from the enforced lockdown period.
“I acknowledge it is not easy, but my message to our athletes is to never stop training,” he said.
“Our experienced coaches and their athletes can use initiatives to change their training methods according to each one’s situation and to be ready and in good shape after the lockdown.
“I believe this is an experience to learn more about yourself as a person and an athlete.”
The Varsity Athletics programme was put on hold before the lockdown, but Bothma said nothing had been cancelled yet.
“No track and field events are officially cancelled as yet, not by Varsity Sport, USSA or ASA,” he confirmed. “All these championships are postponed at this stage.
“Varsity Athletics have made it clear that they will only take a decision once the lockdown period is over.”