Seen here (in the centre): Rose Xeyi (Soweto, Prestige College) obliterated the Girls U19 100m in a lightning fast time of 11.98 seconds. Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg
The action packed PUMA School of Speed #2 saw close to 1300 junior track & field stars follow in the footsteps of the World’s Fastest Man Usain Bolt at the Ruimsig Athletics Stadium (Roodepoort) on Saturday, 2 February 2019.
Headed by Bolt, the PUMA School of Speed is a national series of five track & field meets that was launched in 2016 with the goal of identifying exceptional young South African athletes who believe that their future is #ForeverFaster.
The PUMA School of Speed #2 saw junior track & field stars between the ages of 14-19 compete in long and high jump, the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, long jump and hurdles.
Antoinette van der Merwe (Centurion, High School Eldoraigne) crossed the finish line first in the Girls U19 200m in an impressive time of 24.61 seconds. “The PUMA School of Speed is one of the competitions that I am excited to compete at each year. I am really happy to be here today. Coming first in the 200m finals means a lot to me. It’s the start of the season so it’s a nice boost to keep going.” Jessica Bompas came in 2nd, while Nikiwe Mongwe finished 3rd.
Carla Hattingh (Alberton, High School Marais Viljoen) claimed the top step on the podium in the Girls U19 400m with her finishing time of 56.04 seconds. “The series is a great opportunity to see where you rank against athletes from other schools. I agree with JD, coming first today is a case of picking the fruits. It’s also a good indication of what still needs to be done to improve.” Kirsten Arends came in 2nd, while Xante de Klerk finished 3rd.
Rose Xeyi (Soweto, Prestige College) obliterated the Girls U19 100m in a lightning fast time of 11.98 seconds. “The PUMA School of Speed Series gives young athletes the opportunity to showcase their talent. That is why I love it. The 100m is my favorite event. It was really nice to run the 100m in such a great meet. My advice to other athletes is to not give up, keep on trying and work hard.” Portia Machaba came in 2nd, while Clarise Brits finished 3rd.
Xeyi is also the first Head Girl of the PUMA School of Speed. “It is an honor and privilege to be the first Head Girl of the PUMA School of Speed because I get to represent PUMA,” says Xeyi. “This is one of the best platforms for explosive athletics.”
Vice Principal’s Message: The junior track & field stars could meet South African middle-distance runner and 2019 PUMA School of Speed Vice Principal, Gena Löfstrand in the Vice Principal’s office at the stadium.
According to Löfstrand the Series is a great platform for up and coming athletes to showcase their talent and all the hard work they’ve put into their sport. “The events are well organized, well supported and super exciting to be a part of,” said Löfstrand. “It’s so important to give younger athletes events like this. It gives them something to work for and something to look forward to, a reason to pursue athletics. I believe that PUMA is becoming a powerful force in helping grow athletics in South Africa.”
Feedback from the Schools:
Helpmekaar Kollege – “The PUMA School of Speed is a wonderful opportunity for students to develop their talents, while gaining valuable experience in a more elite field,” says JP Van Der Merwe, Senior Deputy Head Helpmekaar Kollege. “As a school we entered 28 students, but we also had multiple students that entered as individual participants. We had a great time seeing how our school compared to others, while identify where we can improve.”
Zwartkop High School – According to Willie Engelbrecht, Zwartkop High School Athletics organizer and ASA Level 3 National Coach, the PUMA School of Speed is one of the best platforms available for explosive athletics. “It is like the pro 20 (cricket) of athletics, fast and explosive. It’s a great privilege to be part of this series. We get to enjoy the talent that is on display, while the series also helps to develop coaches by offering coaching clinics.”
LIVE MUSIC: Athletes and spectators were treated to a live performance by Idols star Lloyd Cele. “It’s always a pleasure to perform,” says Cele. “I am grateful for people who love and appreciate my music. To have students showing their love and support was amazing.”
COMING UP NEXT: 2019 PUMA School of Speed
Event & Date: PUMA School of Speed #3
Saturday, 09 February 2019 / Kings Park Athletics Stadium (Durban)
Event & Date: PUMA School of Speed #4
Saturday, 02 March 2019 / LC de Villiers Sportsground (Pretoria)
Event & Date: PUMA School of Speed #5
Wednesday, 13 March 2019 / Puk McArthur Stadium in Potchefstroom
Entry Fee: Athletes
No Cost to enter the event
Enter Online: www.schoolofspeed.com
Please Note: Athlete entries close two days prior to each event.
Entry Fee: Spectators
R20 / adults
R10 / children
Pay as you enter the stadium.
All entrants will stand a chance to be scouted and contracted to the PUMA Squad. The contract will be for the duration of one calendar year.
Podium winners of each event final will win the following:
- 1st Place – PUMA School of Speed Tee, PUMA peak cap & category medal.
- 2nd Place – PUMA School of Speed Tee, PUMA drawstring bag & category medal.
- 3rd Place – PUMA School of Speed Tee & category medal.
The APE/ASA table will be used to determine the top 3 overall male and female athletes.
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Issued by: NEWSPORT MEDIA