A group of women, and a few men, from Majakaneng near Brits are now hiking up the mountain and running distances to combat stress and address domestic violence, unemployment and other social issues.
For many of these women and men, this ‘new activity’ has changed their outlook on life and given them a new purpose. They belong to the Tlasela Club that was formed about a month ago by a local resident, Pitso Mbewe, who has been coaching soccer to children in settlements in the Brits and Hartbeespoort areas in order to keep them off the streets and away from a life of crime and drugs.
“I was coaching soccer at a school in Majakaneng and a teacher expressed her concern over domestic violence, unemployment and parents in stressful situations and asked if I could not think of something to address this very serious issue that affects our children,” says Pitso. “I kept thinking about this and then I thought, why not start a club with healthy activities like hiking and running to take people’s minds off their troubles.”
He approached a couple of people and suddenly there was more interest than what he had expected. The club opened with 35 members a month ago and they had their first mountain hike up the lovely Magaliesberg Mountain near the settlement last weekend.
“For most of the people it was their first time up in the mountain. They thoroughly enjoyed it. Tired, but happy. When we came down, the local Lucky Star spaza shop supported the club by donating cooldrinks and snacks.”
Pitso says the members are now fired up and their fist 6 km run is scheduled for this week. “I want them to take part in the next Om-die-Dam marathon.”
Because most of the participants are unemployed, any donations of used running shoes, T-shirts for the club and other equipment will be welcome. The club would also welcome other sport coaches’ help to offer members other activities such as pilates or gymnastics. We want to involve the children as well and offer them activities that will keep them busy and healthy.”
If anyone can assist with donations of used running shoes and T-shirts for the club, please contact Pitso on 076 028 8683.