Norah Mudzielwana (right), the coach of Phethani Mabala who is going to represent Limpopo at the SA High School Track & Field Championships in the Western Cape. Photo supplied.

Young athlete ready to leave mark at SA Track & Field


A Grade 11 learner from Vhulaudzi High School in Tshitavha, Phethani Mabala (19), is hoping to make an impression during the upcoming SA High School Track & Field Championships in the Western Cape. She will be competing in the 5,000m and 3,000m (steeplechase) events.

Phethani won the district championships held at Louis Trichardt High School and then competed in the provincial track and field championships, which took place on 8 March at the Oscar Mphetha Stadium in Polokwane. She won both events and qualified for the national event that will take place from 3 to 6 April at the Dal Josaphat Athletics Stadium in the Paarl.

“It's a dream come true, to compete with the best athletes from secondary schools across the province. I never imagined that a rural girl like myself would achieve such heights in athletics," said Phethani.

Phethani began running while in primary school and racked up several accolades during her short career. Last year, she won the Junior Women’s category during the 10km SA Run 4 Cancer event, held at the Mall of the North.

Like many other athletes who come from rural areas, Phethani lacks a sponsor and struggles to make ends meet. “My family’s financial difficulties won't deter me from realising my potential. I appeal to community members for financial assistance as I lack proper training and competition resources. I also aspire to join a club, but I am unsure of the necessary steps,” she said.

She thanked her coach, Ms Norah Mudzielwana, for her unwavering guidance and support.


Sport - Date: 30 March 2024

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Kaizer Nengovhela

Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror in 2000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.

Email: [email protected]