Heathfield High’s dream on track

* Right: Former pupils Terrence Smith and ward councillor Kevin Southgate, principal Mark Engelbrecht, Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel, and teacher Wesley Neumann, at the marathon cocktail evening.

Heathfield High School hosted a cocktail evening on Friday October 13, to encourage businesses and former pupils to support the building of their multi-million rand sports complex, which will also benefit other schools and communities in the Western Cape.

Ebrahim Patel, the Minister of Economic Development; and ward councillor Kevin Southgate were among the former pupils, businessmen and guests invited to the event which was part of the school’s 24-hour marathon.

“I wish to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to all those who have been working tirelessly on this project to bring it to this

“Sport will continue to be a force for positive change and we only need to look around us to see how young people’s lives have been changed through sport. People like Wayde van Niekerk, Ashwin Willemse, Benni McCarthy to name but a few have become local heroes and shining examples of how sport can transform the lives of people.”

Mr Southgate said the Heathfield High School sports complex project presented an opportunity to harness collective energies, talents and resources .

“I would like you to imagine for a moment this project as Heathfield High School submitting a bid to host the 2020 Junior Athletics Championship right here at our school and what has been presented here this evening is our bid book. We are appealing to you to rally behind this project and to support it similarly as to when the nation is asked to support a world cup bid.”

The school also held a 24-hour marathon from Friday October 13, at 2pm, until Saturday October 14, at 2pm, covering a distance of 408km.

Thirty athletes prepared extensively to take part in the race

The event also made provision for supporters to camp all along the course and these friends, family members and former pupils kept the spirit of the runners high with cheering and clapping.

Teacher Wesley Neumann said: “The strategy employed by the coaching staff to let the senior runners attack the much feared graveyard shift – from 1am to 6am on Saturday – was crucial as it is normally this stretch of time in the 24 hours that the fatigue and lack of sleep affects the runners.”

The distances covered were sponsored and all funds raised will be used to buy much needed sport equipment for the school’s athletes, said Mr Neumann.