By Thathe Msimango
Every afternoon runners can be seen training hard in the grounds outside Tembisa High School.
The man conducting that training is Elvis Khoza, a passionate athletics coach with an eye for development.
Khoza, a local from Tembisa, has one thing in mind: he wants to see youngsters from the area using their talents to succeed in life through sport.
“We can’t sit and wait for the government. The community must change these kids’ lives,” Khoza told Scrolla.Africa.
“I’ve got a group of athletes that I’m currently coaching who are going to be good one day. If they are mentored correctly they can stand up to make it big in life. Sport in the townships must be a must so that kids will be disciplined.”
One of Khoza’s successes is Ryan Mphahlele, the former national 1,500m champion. In
2019, Mphahlele represented the country at the World Athletics Cross Country Championship in Denmark and was part of the squad that went to the Commonwealth games in England.
“We have come a long way with Ryan. He came into the training area with his mother. I think he was 11 at the time,” said Khoza
“I started training him and he fell in love with athletics. I’m proud of the achievements he has obtained over the years. He is a very good athlete because he pays attention to every detail. I can’t describe his talent too. He is exceptional.”
The coach encourages his athletes to get a proper education.
“I have a partnership with the University of Johannesburg (UJ) to recommend all these talented runners to get scholarships and bursaries after matric,” says Khoza who is the athletics coach at UJ.
“I have assisted Mphahlele as he now studies at UJ and there are 10 kids already going there next year. I always tell them to get a proper education since sports is a short career. If you are injured and are out forever then how are you going to survive? It is important to have a backup.”
Pictured above: Coach Elvis Khoza with Ryan Mphahlele
Image source: Supplied