2019 The Beginning
The registration of the club in January 2019 was the beginning of this great journey we found ourselves embarking on. What we thought is just a running club has shown itself to be much bigger than any of us anticipated, it became for the lack of a better word a movement. It became something people want to identify with, hence there was limited recruitment but the club continued to grow.
2019 was a year where this gigantic club began its existence but it is like it has existed for a number of years. The leadership which we elected has pioneered a number of things and in the process positioned the club to be a force to be reckoned with. It is at this point that we as the leadership want to thank the individuals who were the real leaders of this club and they provided guidance and were always available to assist in any request which we might have made. These are the volunteers who were always available to assist with water points, drafting of policies, identifying potential sponsors, mobilizing sponsorships, preparing food while we were running etc., that made our work easier and we had the comfort to know that you guys were there.
Like I have mentioned, this was the year of the ‘firsts’. The first committee, the first race, first water point manning, the first gazebo, the first marathon, Ultra marathon and ultimately the first comrade’s marathon. We had to come up with the colours and a Logo, it was designed by a Bella’s member, and this was not outsourced. We also had to choose the material of the vests which we are currently using. Thank you for trusting us that we were going to do a good job. We are now known with our striking and attractive white and purple (lavender) colour and it is a sought after outfit (if I can call it that) out there.
The new executive must take us to the next level by coming up with track suits, golf shirts, caps, leisure wear etc.
Our core value which identifies us from other club is that we are caring. We always want to see the next person (runner) making it to the other side with minimal discomfort on the road. This is the reason why we have water points as and when we run. This has created the bond that we have. The ‘POE’ at the end of each session is one thing that we can take for granted but it is one thing that encourages everyone to go out and do it. I must hasten to mention that one photo does the trick, anything more than that is discouraged as it infringes on the data of other members. What we do after a race, waiting for each other and braking bread together, also makes one feel welcome. Let us not stop doing that, once we stop then we will be like everyone and there will be no appeal anymore.
Ultimately we are one big family and as such that is our unique feature, they can try it but we have mastered it.
The running started in 2014 between (Messrs C Nkosi, B Zitha, M Shongwe & S Taitai) with Belladonna being the point of convergence and starting point. These were the informal gathering of few individuals who had a single purpose – to lose weight and get healthy. They were later joined by Ms. Noma Fakude who became the first WhatsApp Group Admin. These members had tried to join various running club around Mbombela but were not fulfilled. Then they decided to organize and form a team which was to cater to the common goals they had hence the formation of Bella’s Athletic Club.
In 2015 they started to participate in 10 and 21km races within Mbombela, subsequently graduated to Ultra Marathons participation in 2016. In the year 2017 2 members (Mr C Nkosi & S Taitai) members participated in the 2017 Comrades Marathon, and in 2018 Comrades Marathon the number grew to 5 (Ms Hellen Snell, Sean Nkundlane and Mr B Zitha). In 2019 the club had 19 members participating, 17 of the members from the club finished the race, 1 member could not participate due to injury and other members did not make the cut-off after 60km.
At the time of formalising the club to be registered, the club had an interim structure which was set up to process and expedite the registration process with Athletics South Africa (ASA). The Following members were requested to oversee the registration process
- Ms Mongikazi Malemela Chairperson
- Mr Mlungisi Shongwe Vice Chairperson
- Mr Nhlanhla Mabaso Secretary
- Ms Pateka Ngono Treasurer
- Mr Baldwin Shongwe Club Captain
- Mr Vince Sgauke Club Representative
- Ms Nozipho Sifunda Club Representative
The club was officially registered with Athletics Mpumalanga (AMPU) in January 2019 and had its first Annual General Meeting wherein the new Executive Committee was elected to manage and operationalize the club.
- The mission of the club is to build a competitive running club that promotes athletics and related activities
- The Club also strives to instill friendship, a spirit of sportsmanship and adequate physical fitness amongst its members
- Enhancing the value of life through running and exercising or
- Running towards a healthy lifestyle
- Is to be a professional facilitator of athletics and related activities for the benefit of its members and the general public
- To promote, encourage, support and develop athletics and related activities within the Mbombela, Limpopo and surrounding provinces including outside South Africa i.e. Swaziland
- Promote non-racial and combat unfair discrimination at all levels
In 2019 Bella’s Athletic Club entered into partnership with Melus’omuhle Foundation which is an NGO focused on creating an awareness on children living with Cancer. Melus’omuhle Foundation was established by Tebogo Moya & Mr Moya after losing their daughter Omuhle to cancer in 2016. The organization aims to bring awareness and support under privileged families who have children living with cancer in Mpumalanga. The NGO is currently focused at assisting families around the Ehlanzeni and Bohlabela areas. The Club partnered with the NGO for its second annual Melus’omuhle Golden Walk which took place in September 2019.
The walk was a huge success with the club receiving donations of water, ribbons which were given to all walk finishers, refreshments as well as bringing in the numbers through the large member turnout. We are proud to confirm that ten thousand was raised on the day which has been able to assist children to attend specialized cancer treatment in Pretoria, noting that the club looks forward in strengthening its partnership with Melus’omuhle. As we grow we will continue to strive in creating new platforms to create an awareness on children living with cancer in the Province and in the country.
|NAMES & SURNAME||POSITIONS|
|1.Mr B Zitha||Chairperson|
|2.Ms HM Malemela||Deputy Chairperson|
|3. Mr N Mabaso||Club Secretary|
|4.Ms T Makhubela||Treasurer|
|4.Ms P Nxumalo||Club Captain|
|5.Ms P Gwambe||Additional Member|
|6.Mr C Nkosi||Additional Member|