A brief history
The Zoo Lake Runners Group was founded by Hendrick Ramaala back in 1994.
The group trains on the legendary 3.5km grass loop at the Zoo Lake Park in Johannesburg. The course was designed by Ramaala himself. Ramaala decided to move to this grass venue in order to avoid hard road surfaces which gave him serious injuries.
The group is open to elite and social runners from all backgrounds.
The first runner to join Ramaala was Peter ‘Mawethu’ Huwele, who became a 2h15 international runner.
Later runners like Max Shabalala, Isaac Masilela, Samson Mashiloane, Sibusiso Ziba, ‘Tolly’, Steven Dikobo, Ephraim Mokgothu, Simon Maisela, Victor Buso, Sam Mlangeni, Mpuru Rampuru, Sylvestor Moleko, Joseph Marman, ‘Section’, Mathew Amoils, Stephan Cronje, Zongamele Dyubeni, Nkululeko Zamisa, Craig Cynkin, Odwa Tunyiswa, Derocius Makhubane, Raphael Segodi, ‘One and Only’ and Rodica Moroianu joined.
In 2015 Ramaala founded the Hendrick Ramaala Sports Foundation in order to professionalise the group. The plan was to invite, house and coach athletes to become the next generation of champions.
Runners who were invited were Sibusiso Nzima, Folavio Sehohle, Lungile Gongqa, Michael Mazibuko, Desmond Mokgobu, Xolisa Tyali, Lebo Phalula, Lebogang Phalula, Tumisang Monnatlala, Precious Mashele, Phasha Magagane, Gladwin Mzazi and Rhutendo Nyahora.
Development runners like Maxime Chaumeton, Jacob Malefo, Katlego Monageng and Ntsindiso Mphakathi were also invited.
Ultra-Marathon runners like Pro Mhogo, Motsamai Lucas Rantho and Wits Maths Professor Jesse also joined.
The group has done well so far. Gongqa and Mazibuko were 2nd and 3rd at the 2015 Cape Town Marathon. Sehohle won the 1500m at the SA Champs in 2016. Nzima, Gongqa, Lebo Phalula and Nyahora went to the 2016 Rio Olympics; while Mokgobu ran a 2h10 in the 2017 Rotterdam Marathon and also achieved a ‘Gold Label Status’ at the 2017 World Championships in London. Lebogang Phalula came 3rd in Cape Town Marathon in 2016. Mashele made the SA Cross Country team to Kampala in 2017. Segodi won the 2017 JZ Zuma Marathon, while Gongqa won the 2017 Two Oceans Marathon.
The group is expected to perform even better in the future.
THE SKY IS THE LIMIT!
ABOUT THE HENDRICK RAMAALA SPORTS FOUNDATION
The foundation’s mission has an ambitious aim of making South African distance running a dominant force in the world.
You will never know your limits unless you push yourself to them
If you can't fly, then run, if you can't run, then walk, if you can't walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward. - Martin Luther King Jr.
Train like an athlete, eat like a nutritionist, sleep like a baby, win like a champion.
The group is based in Johannesburg where we house, feed and coach a select group of the best South African middle and long distance runners including young talented runners whom we are preparing for Tokyo 2020 Olympics and 2022 Commonwealth Games.
In the future we aim to establish satellite training camps in villages and townships all over South Africa which will act as feeders for our elite squad. We believe that South Africa has talent and by 2020 and 2022, we hope to have achieved our objectives. We will then move into the next phase of chasing Olympics and World Championship medals. If we do not achieve our objectives we will dissolve the foundation as per clause 10 of our constitution.
The organisation’s main objectives are to:
Unearth and develop talent for running in South Africa.
Promote athletics in South African communities.
Establish and support satellite athletics academies and clubs that will ensure talent is well developed and supported under the foundation umbrella of our organisation towards building a team of world-class champions.
Educate and develop athletes’ skills.
Manage and market athletes.
Organise races and competitions for athletes.
The organisation’s secondary objective will be to:
Partner with other organisations and clubs that deal with athletic development, talent identification, skills development, athletic management and education of the youth to create a sustainable network.
Under the leadership and guidance of the four time Olympian Hendrick Ramaala, the foundation holds its training sessions at Zoo Lake and Wits University sports grounds in Johannesburg.
HOW TO SUPPORT
List of Donors:
Impala Fruit and Veg (Northcliff, Johannesburg)
Impala Butchery (Northcliff, Johannesburg)
Global Sport Communication Management (Nijmegen, Holland) assists our elite athletes with entries to international competitions, travelling costs and equipment.
NN Running Team
Osmond Lange Architects & Planners
Fournos Bakery (Dunkeld West)
What we need:
We need sustainable and regular financial support for our athletes in order to take them from their respective clubs to our academy and develop and train them to international level.
How you can help:
We are looking for contributions such as transport to training and competitions, food, financial aid for medical help such as physiotherapy and supplements.
Support and Donations:
Any financial aid or donations of any kind would be appreciated. We are happy to receive your support and donations into our banking details below:
Account Name: HENDRICK RAMAALA SPORTS FOUNDATION
Account Type: Cheque
Account No.: 62612830043
Branch Code: 250655
Branch Name: MYBRANCH
NPO Registration Number: