Two-times Comrades gold medallist Prodigal Khumalo and ultra triathlete Zisandele Mkhize have endorsed the inaugural virtual Mr Price Foundation Challenge in partnership with Comrades Marathon, taking place on December 5 and 6. Both athletes have committed to helping the Mr Price Foundation break the cycle of poverty and inequality among South African youth, and have urged the public and other sporting personalities to do the same.
Durban-based Khumalo, the world record holder for the Ultra Trail Cape Town has pledged his support for the Foundation’s education and skills development programmes, “I’m not just running. I am running for a cause, which is obviously giving back to the community”.
“It’s events like this Challenge that will keep us athletes going because we haven’t been running for a long time due to COVID-19. We’ve just been training. Training without any goal can get very tiring,” he said.“Events like this virtual Challenge are safe to take part in because it accommodates social distancing. You can run wherever you are and participate in an event like this.”
Khumalo who has gold in his soles, as well as gold in his soul, is a running coach and initiated the Orcas Academy in Inanda, Durban. “The orca passes on its skills by teaching the young orca how to hunt in the sea. I’m teaching the youth how to hunt in terms of running because it’s all about approach, not only about talent. I am also using sports to change people’s mindsets so they can leave behind bad things like gangsterism and drugs.”
Sport has always been a passion for ultra triathlete Zisandele “Zee” Mkhize, who used to be trained by Prodigal Khumalo. Apart from running, swimming and cycling, Zee also participated in gymnastics and provincial hockey. For the past two years, Zee cycled the 606km Ride for MRP Foundation, a two-day cycle ride from Secunda to Durban. Like the Challenge, the Ride helped create awareness and raise funds for the Mr Price Foundation.
“People need help and kindness is for free. Poverty is still a big issue, and Covid has increased the poverty line, so people need help even more. It’s about being human at the end of the day and we all share the human condition and in just being unified and together we can do what we can to help so many people,” encouraged Mkhize from Morningside, in Durban, KZN.
“Prodigal was my coach and he’s taught me what kind of champion I want to be – humble and kind and a good person, and not to view anyone as lesser than you. I haven’t decided what distances I am doing, but I will definitely be doing the double challenge of cycling and running, and I am challenging everyone out there to do the same. There are a range of distances to choose from so there’s no excuse not to take on the Challenge,” said Mkhize enthusiastically.
Mr Price Sport Marketing Manager Dylan Cherry said, “For the Mr Price Foundation, this event raises awareness for the work that they do, from education to work readiness programmes which help unemployed youth prepare for their careers.. This is so important in South Africa at the moment.”
He added that 2020 has been a difficult year for most people. “This is an opportunity to step outside, do some activities, but at the same time make a difference while you are doing it!”
Sporting personalities including the Amazulu Soccer Club, former Springboks, The Cell-C Sharks, as well as some of the Proteas have pledged their support and committed to taking on the Challenge. With the virtual Challenge going global international sports stars from across the oceans have also committed themselves to the cause with the likes of Australian cricket legend Matthew Hayden also pledging to help break the cycle of poverty and inequality in South Africa by signing up for the challenge.
You too can make a difference by joining the Challenge.
Comrades gold medallist Prodigal Khumalo, ultra triathlete Zisandele Mkhize and Mr Price Sport Marketing Manager Dylan Cherry, training for the Mr Price Foundation Challenge on December 5 and 6, at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Image Mr Price Foundation / Pierre Tostee