We recently chatted to Capestorm Ambassador Robbie Rorich to find out a little more about an awesome group of guys he runs with. The guys are from Joe Slovo, an informal settlement in Langa, Capetown. Robbie tells us how he met the guys and gives us some insight into their story an how they have formed a running group of their own, which they call Trail Baleka.
How did you meet all the guys you run with?
I initially stumbled upon an organisation called Run2Lead while looking for an underprivileged group of guys to run with. I wanted to run with guys who didn’t have the opportunity to run. Run2Lead is a program which was started to find underprivileged guys who encompass leadership qualities and have a passion for running.
From left - Nicolas, Sibabalwe (Employed by Run2Lead), Alfred (Employed by Run2Lead) and DJ
The program is run by a guy called Greg. The program found runners from a High School in Joe Slovo and signed them up as a WP Athletics team to compete in the Western Province cross country series. They compete each year in the 10km series, which all the Western Cape Schools participate in. Run to lead forms part of a charity that also does beach cleans and quite a lot more than just running.
Our first run together was on Milnerton Beach. It's super beautiful running along the coast with an awesome view of Table Mountain. I did some sprints with them which was lots of fun and a cool introduction – they’re a great bunch of happy guys. I then did another 2 runs with them on the mountain after which we made a whatsapp group called Trail Baleka. We often chat on the grunning group and decide when we can all run together and where. The one race we did together was the VWS race. The 4 guys that joined me were MV, Paks, Sibs and Nik. At the moment we continue to meet up when we can and when I can fetch them and try organise races when possible. We are also looking to get some girls involved running with us too.
The guys are always stoked to run, and love it so much. They are amazingly capable guys, friendly, engaging and they know so much. The group has 6 members on it - Phaks, Sibabalwe, Nicolas and Mvuyisi, Alfred and DJ. 2 of them have jobs and the rest are unemployed youth with good education. They took me to their school and Jo Slovo and by Cape Town Government School Standards it’s a good school. They are quite stuck in terms of moving on from Jo Slovo. Some of the boy’s parents pay for their food, and others have moved out into someone’s garden shack that they rent out.
It's a privilege to run on Table Mountain, I believe it's important to share this privilege with as many as we can. South Africa has an untapped supply of running talent, unlimited ranges of mountains and all year round training weather; we've got the setup to be the best trail running nation. To those of us that can run, let's run, and let's get everybody involved. Run with people, and run with Mother Earth.
Photos by Tyrone Bradley