Spartans reaps rewards with brilliant beginner’s programme
A Whopping 140 runners and 15 walkers from Spartan Harriers Athletic Club completed their first ever 10km race at the Mitchells Plain Titans 10km at the Rocklands Sports Complex on Saturday.
Jacke Aproskie one of the coaches responsible for the implementation of the beginner’s programme at Spartan Harriers says it took their beginners 12 weeks to go from being completely inactive to completing their first official Western Province Athletics (WPA) 10km race.
“We have a special beginners programme that we have been following for years,” says Jackie.
“This program is run twice per year. In the first week its two minutes of running and one-minute walking twice a week on a Monday and Wednesday. It’s a very good programme. Occasionally we skip from nines minute to 11 minutes and the participants wonder why, but it works. They sometimes get scared, but they follow the programme. Its awesome to see them all graduating especially because I also came through the same programme when I joined the club six year ago.”
According to Jackie 180 people registered for the programme and 140 runners and 15 walkers graduated on Saturday.
“All of them finished and got their medals. Amongst them are quite a few good fast runners and some juniors as well.
“We have three different pace groups in the programme. We have a faster, a middle group and a slower group. The runners join the club now and their membership will be valid until the end of 2020,” explains Jackie.
Spartan Harriers advertises their beginners programme on Facebook and by word of mouth.
“It’s so popular that we have waiting lists before we even open up. This programme started in September and ended today (Saturday). The next program will start in March and end with the UWC 10km race in May next year.
“We charge R350 which includes the race registration, as well as the catering after the race,” explains Jackie.
Roger Arendse, Sharon Brouckaert and a team of volunteers assists Jackie with the programme.
One of the proud beginners, Bernice Young, said after completing her first 10km: “It was a really wonderful experience. We all felt like one big family because we all have the same goal in mind. Everyone was so supportive which makes it so much easier.”