• Thathe Msimango

Kumalo opens new Orcas Academy clubhouse

Ultra Marathon specialist Prodigal Kumalo finally unveiled his new Orcas Academy building in Inanda township in Durban. Kumalo founded the academy in 2015 and attracted over 150 Athletes in its first year in running. In 2018, he decided to register the academy as a running club affiliated to KwaZulu Natal Athletics( KZNA). But the vision was always to use this initiative to develop future champions.


In January, the Comrades Marathon gold medalist decided to run 100km from Hilton in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands to the Greyville Racecourse in Durban to raise funds in order to build accommodation for his academy athletes to live and train on site. Hollywoodbets injected whooping R51 829 to make his dream a reality. Speaking to the #TheTopRunner at the launch last week Friday, Kumalo couldn't hide his excitement.


Kumalo unveiling his new Orcas Academy Building. Photo Credit: Zothile Moto.

"I'm over the moon with what's happening today," said an elated Kumalo. "This is first time we are seeing a club in the province with a proper clubhouse for its athletes. When I started the academy I had a vision of assisting youngsters to be much more in sports. Remember with sport, they can run away from bad things happening in our communities which might destroy their careers. I must thank Hollywoodbets for donating so much money to make this dream come true."


Hollywoodbets helped to make Kumalo's dream come true. Photo Credit: Zothile Moto.

The Two-time Ultra-Trail Cape Town winner predicts more growth for his academy in the next five years. Already their success story is producing Comrades Marathon 11th place finisher Nkosikhona Mhlakwana, who now runs for Maxed Elite Running Club. "My dream is to see the Academy producing more athletes in the near future," explains 39-year-old Kumalo.

"I think I would able to focus on it more once I retire from running. I'm left with two or three as the runner before calling it quits. Then I would be able to focus it more on coaching. I'm a qualified coach but now I can't focus solely on it because I'm still running. I want the academy to be the best in the country in the next five years and it's possible if people can keep supporting sports. I'm also looking to have more buildings in order to accommodate athletes here," he concluded.

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