Leading South African 400m hurdler LJ van Zyl is hoping to make a difference when he attends the Bestmed Madibaz Athletics Club coaching courses at Daniel Pienaar Technical High School in Uitenhage from Wednesday to Friday.
The 32-year-old Van Zyl said he was relishing the chance to interact with coaches and athletes at the clinic which will consist of courses in three categories, to be held simultaneously.
Those attending must choose one of the categories – the coaching clinic or either the ASA Level 1 or Level 2 coaches’ course.
A Bestmed brand ambassador, he said his main objective at courses such as these was to motivate young athletes.
“If I can get just one athlete to look back later in their careers and say ‘I attended a Bestmed Madibaz coaching clinic in Uitenhage and LJ van Zyl inspired me to go on with athletics’, that would be fantastic.”
His main message to aspiring athletes is that there is no substitute for hard work.
“I will use my own programme as an example. There is no other way to success besides training every day.”
Van Zyl, who is targeting a fourth appearance at the Commonwealth Games this year, will be joined by experienced Pretoria coach Hugo Badenhorst and former national middle-distance runner Ilze Wicksell at the course, where they will assist coaches and athletes.
The SA 400m hurdles record holder has been included in the preliminary SA team for the Commonwealth Games. He won a gold medal and two silvers at previous Games meetings.
“I am fully into training and aiming for, at least, a spot on the podium,” he said of the Games, which will take place in Australia in April.
“For now, though, I am looking forward to this week’s clinic and to help athletes and coaches.”