Bhekizizwe Joseph Shabalala Marathon thanks athletes for patience as all outstanding monies are paid
After nearly 3 months of waiting Lebo Phalula has finally been paid for winning the Bhekizizwe Joseph Shabalala 10km race. In a story penned by #TheTopRunner last week, Phalula expressed her disappointment at the fact her R10 000 winners cheque was yet to be paid, while other podium finishers had the money in the bank. But organizers of the race which took place on the 11th of February in honour of the late Isichathamiya legend and founder of the Grammy Award winning Ladysmith Black Mambazo Joseph Shabalala, have managed to settle all outstanding amounts.
The Olympian confirmed receipt of the prize money in an interview with #TheTopRunner yesterday saying she is happy that justice has been done. "I can safely say that I have received my payment from the organisers on Monday. I'm glad they finally kept their promise. We had a chat with the organisers and we are on good terms," said an elated Phalula.
Race organizer Luvuyo Shabalala apologized for the delays and thanked athletes for being patient with them. "We have paid all the athletes now as of today. So its a total of R375 000 that we have spent in prize money. I must thank athletes for being patient with us. We are still new in terms of organizing sports events so we have learnt a lot going forward. It's all about rectifying these mistakes as we grow," he said.
Shabalala says plans are afoot to make the race even bigger as they are in negotiations to bring new sponsors on board. "Our plan is host the event annually and it must happen in the same month of February like it did this year. We believe that sport can unite people. We are also planning to increase the prize money as we have the sponsors who are willing to come on board," he explained.