Running is Thabiso Mabasa passion

Thabiso Mabasa shows some of her medals and a trophy.

LIMPOPO – The Gr 12 learner, who is taking science subjects at Magoza Secondary School has been running and winning medals in cross country and middle-distance competitions since she was in Gr 5.

“Running is in my blood and I would like to see myself becoming part of Team South Africa. My dream is not only to compete in the Olympics and the World Athletics Championships, but to break the 800 m national and world record as well,” she said confidently.

Thabiso said her passion for sport started in primary school where she participated in volleyball and ladies soccer before she realised that her talent lies in athletics.

“I started competing in the 100 m and 200 m items, but I wasn’t doing well. When I changed my focus to 800 m and 1 500 m distances, I started to occupy pole positions. Soon I was taking part and winning medals in 5 km and 10 km marathons around the province,” said the soft-spoken girl.

Thabiso has participated and won medals in the Polokwane Executive Mayors marathon, the Greater Tzaneen Mayoral marathon, the Mall of the North marathon and also represented her school in a number of Limpopo Schools Athletics (Limsa) competitions. Last year, she competed in an inter-provincial athletics meeting held in Mpumalanga.

While Thabiso is becoming a force to be reckoned with on the running track, one of the amazing things about her is that she has no coach or access to training facilities. She was born into a poor family and cannot afford to join an athletics club.

“I never knew my father and my mother works as a security guard. She is not earning much, but she is doing everything possible to support my passion. The secret of my success is training, hard work and a never-give-up spirit. Every afternoon, I put on my running shoes and run along the streets of the village,” she said.

When CV visited Thabiso on a Saturday afternoon for an interview, we found her at school preparing for her mid-year examinations.

“I have never failed a grade and my dream is to study a B. Com degree at the University of Pretoria next year. I am very excited as going to university will give me access to some of the best training facilities in the country. Failure is not an option for me,” she said.

Living in one of the most crime-ridden villages in the province, Thabiso’s advice to other young girls is to never let their environment or situations at home determine their future.

“My role model is Caster Semenya. She comes from a poor village and has faced many challenges in her life, but she never gave up. It is very important to follow your dreams and to never under-estimate yourself,” Thabiso said.

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Neville Maakana

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