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Back to Latest News will be representing Western Province in the SA Duathlon Champs

09 Jun 2012

In a week’s time a very proud Azukile Simayile and Sipho Mandolo will be joining Songo Fipaza in representing Western Province at the SA Duathlon Championships.

Thanks to great support from Brett Chilcott, the songo team were introduced to TSA Western Province Duathlon earlier this year. Fresh from the Absa Cape Epic, super strong and where they were crowned the winners of the Exxaro Development Jersey, these boys showed us what they're made of on the bike.

Only a few weeks later and with minimal road running training Azu blitzed through the Wellington SAD 21.1km race in a mere 86mins proving to us that he's as good running as he is riding! And we can assure you the same can be said for Sipho, who with a little less free time as he focuses on his matric year, he uses running training as his opportunity to get fresh air and blood circulating to help him study effectively.

We are truly so proud of these two guys who are exceptional representatives of songo and role models for the rest of the children and young adults in the program. Their focus, commitment and dedication to improving their sporting abilities has seen them come an incredibly long way in a relatively short period of time. There is no doubt that the mentorship from Songo Fipaza and Christoph Sauser has inspired them to dream big and work hard to accomplish those dreams.

Life in South Africa’s townships is challenging. Education systems don’t support the children as they need or deserve, and the result is that many feel despondent and destitute from a young age as the education system fails them and they fast see the future hopes fade away. But for Azukile and Sipho, their worlds changed with Songo’s dream to bring mountain biking to Kayamandi and Christoph’s ambition to set up a local charity. At a point in his life Sipho will tell you that he thought his future looked bleak as he struggled in school and with his weight. That was until he met Songo and joined the songo program. Now we look back and we can hardly recognise the shy, young and somewhat overweight boy who joined the program who is now our shining superstar. These boys have had their world cast open as they worked so hard to succeed in riding, taking every possible opportunity that was handed their way as they saw the prospect to change their futures. This is evident in their results, winning the Absa Cape Epic Exxaro development jersey and now representing Western Province as SA Duathlon Championships. For us at songo, we watch in admiration and pride as well see the boys grow in confidence, with humility and compassion as the opportunities they so deserved come their way.

They have proved to us and to their peers and everyone around them that with focus, ambition, dedication and tenacity great dreams can be achieved.

We are so proud of them as they take on SA Duathlon Champs next week and wish them a fantastic race. We know that this is just the start of an exciting journey that lies ahead of them and are so grateful to all the people and sponsors of who help us make things possible for the young children and adults. We are immensely grateful and very proud to share their story.