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  • Writer's pictureMosibodi Whitehead

Elana Meyer and Zola Budd join forces to develop top runners

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

When it comes to running royalty, it doesn't get much better than Elana Meyer and Zola Budd. One an Olympic medalist, the other a former World Record holder who was the first woman on earth to run sub 14:50 for the 5000m. Now the pair have decided to team up under Meyer's running development academy Endurocad to recruit and train the next generation of talented runners through the launch of a new athletics scholarship programme which will be based at Stellenbosch High School.

"The partnership is backed by the Athletics Foundation Trust who also sponsor the Athletics Bursaries at TuksSport High School," explained Nolene Conrad who is the programme's Athlete Manager. "The bursary programme has partnered with Stellenbosch High school to launch in 2022. The TuksSport School has contributed hugely to the success of junior and youth athletics in the country and with this expansion to the south, we can now truly support talented athletes from across South Africa," she told #TheTopRunner.

Elana van Zyl - Meyer ( Program Manager), Nolene Conrad ( Athlete Manager), Zola Budd Pieterse (Middle Distance Coach). Photo Credit: David Papenfus.

The bold move brings Meyer a step closer to achieving her ambition of seeing Endurocad become the most proficient distance running and endurance sports academy in Africa. As the overall Programme Manager, the Barcelona 1992 silver medalist (assisted by Janet Welham) will be responsible for providing services ranging from athlete recruitment, management, coaching, sports science services and testing.

"I'd like to see South Africa invest. You cannot develop the sport without investing. I'd like to see that change hugely that's why we have invested in female development. I do believe in the talent of South African athletes," said Meyer when she spoke to #TheTopRunner during the local track season earlier this year and hinted at bigger things to come.

Benjamin Richardson, bagged two medals, one silver and one gold, and broke a 4x100m relay world record at the recent World Athletics u/20 World Championships in Nairobi, Kenya. He grew up in Nelspruit and he attended Nelspruit Primary School where he started his athletics journey. The 17-year-old, sprint sensation joined TuksSport High School in 2020 and is now completing his grade 12. Photo Credit: Roger Sedres.

In convincing Zola Budd Pieterse to come on board, Endurocad have not only lured a legendary athlete but have also got a woman who is becoming a well-respected coach in her own right. Pieterse has been appointed as the head Middle Distance coach, bringing with her an impressive CV which includes coaching US College student Adriaan Wildschutt to 27:48.89, which the fastest 10 000m by a South African in 2021.

With the experience of nine years and more than 200 scholarships at the TuksSport High School to learn from, the Stellenbosch Athletics Bursary programme with ENDUROCAD has pulled off a coup in attracting the Athletics Foundation Trust and is poised for major success. Applications are open - contact for further information or if you wish to apply to go

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