South African 400m hurdles record holder LJ van Zyl will be aiming to inspire a younger generation when he attends the Bestmed Madibaz Athletics Club coaching courses at Daniel Pienaar Technical High School in Uitenhage from Wednesday to Friday.
The running ace, who is in the preliminary SA team for a fourth appearance at the Commonwealth Games this year, will be joined by experienced Pretoria coach Hugo Badenhorst and former national middle-distance runner Ilze Wicksell at the course.
Madibaz athletics manager Nellis Bothma said the presence of this trio would mean a great deal to the athletes and coaches.
“It is really great to have high-profile experts such as these to assist our coaches and athletes in the Eastern Cape,” he said.
The 32-year-old Van Zyl said he wanted to make a difference, even if it was just one athlete who came through the ranks to compete at a high level.
“If I can hook just one hurdler, who, maybe in five years’ time, can look back and say ‘I attended a Bestmed Madibaz coaching clinic in Uitenhage and LJ van Zyl inspired me to go on with athletics’, that would be fantastic.”
He added that the only way to success was through hard work.
“To get to the top you have to make a massive sacrifice, but that’s part of being an athlete; it’s a full-time job.”
The rewards were “simply amazing”, he said.
A Bestmed brand ambassador, the 32-year-old Van Zyl has won a gold medal and two silvers at previous Commonwealth Games meetings.