Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 157 Issue 157 - March 2023 | Page 22


Proudly South African Athletes Looking for a NEW SPONSOR !

The proudly South African Murray & Roberts Running Club has made a real mark on SA running since 2019 .
Olympic marathoner Sibusiso Nzima
The Murray & Roberts Running Club made the biggest impact in the shortest space of time in local athletics yet , but now its athletes are in need of a new home !

Affectionately known as the black and yellow , the Murray & Roberts Running Club has become a prominent fixture on the roads , tracks , trails and cross country courses of South Africa . This club has always been “ Proudly South African ,” with no overseas imports to bolster its ranks , and since 2019 , its Olympians , national champions , provincial champions and race winners have numbered in the hundreds as the club has built a legacy of excellence in performance .

This includes more than 30 podium clean-sweeps in 2022 alone , and most recently , the club had five women representing South Africa at the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst , Australia . We are incredibly proud of our four seniors , Cian Oldknow ( 27th ), Kyla Jacobs ( 37th ), Aynslee van Graan ( 38th ) and Kesa Molotsane ( 48th ). Unfortunately , our junior , Naledi Makgatha , failed to finish her race after fainting from heat exhaustion in the tough racing conditions .
Apart from the employee / brand pride and association , the club also provided Murray & Roberts with many respected wellness brand ambassadors for its employees , and led to participation in various wellness initiatives or campaigns in the company . However , the engineering multinational has recently had to scale down significantly due to several economic and geopolitical factors , and therefore the running club is in need of a new sponsor .
Fortunately , as club chairman Ed Jardim says , the value of the club is at an all-time high . “ We inherited
the club four years ago and quickly built it into a leading force on the athletic landscape in South Africa . Our return on investment was at times much more than our Rand input , but unfortunately , the company has had to introduce austerity measures in the short and long term . That means that we need to pass the club baton to a new custodian .”
Black and Yellow seniors at the recent World Cross Country Champs , Aynslee van Graan , Kesa Molotsane , Kyla Jacobs and Cian Oldknow .
The club boasts Olympians , holders of World Best , national championship and provincial championship titles , more than 70 provincial athletes with a whole host of road , track and cross-country titles behind their names , as well as a management team that collectively has more than a century of athletic experience . This management team includes club manager and two-time Olympian , René Kalmer , and she works alongside club secretary , Anastacia Nel , herself an accomplished runner , and media manager Arnold Geerdts , a 2:29 marathoner and Comrades Green Number-holder .
Kalmer says that the club ’ s achievements have laid a strong foundation for further success in years to come . “ For us , the past four years were an amalgamation of hard work , and right time , right place , and we
Club Manager René Kalmer and her kids .
Images : SMacPix , Anthony Grote & courtesy Murray & Roberts Running Club
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