• Thathe Msimango

Phantane unveil an indoor gym and training facility in Indwendwe

Phantane Athletics Club added yet another milestone achievement this year when they unveiled an indoor gym and training facility on Thursday at their training camp base in Ndwendwe, a rural area 60km north of Durban. Phantane has become a force to be reckoned with in SA athletics this year, as they roped in former Comrades Marathon winner Ann Ashworth and witnessed Mbuleli Mathanga win the SA 10 000m title and set a new KwaZulu Natal Athletics 10 000m record.

Phantane AC athletes try out the new gym which has been built thanks to a R75 000 donation from Hollywoodbets. Photo Credit: Thathe Msimango.

And their wonderful work hasn't gone unnoticed as they reaping rewards and attracting sponsors. Hollywoodbets injected a whooping R75 000 towards the gym, which will allow athletes to train even on rainy days. Phantane founder Mdu Khumalo applauds Hollywoodbets for lending a helping hand and is delighted to see his vision becomes a reality.

"I'm over the moon seeing the actual opening of this indoor gym today," said elated Khumalo. "We must be grateful to Hollywoodbets for assisting us to build this house with a gym which athletes will use, especially when it's cold or raining. They never complained when we pitched the idea. This place is in a rural area, the roads are gravel so when it's raining it not easy to train outside. This is a relief to the athletes. I must compliment my wife too for standing with me since I started the club. It hasn't been an easy route. Without her support, I wouldn't have gone this far," he said.

Khumalo's Phantane Athletics Club runners go for a long run in Ndwendwe. Photo Credit: Cuan Walker.

Khumalo, who owns a construction company fell in love with Ndwendwe while he was building houses in the community. The rolling hills attracted him to the area and gave him the idea to use the undulating terrain to prepare the athletes. That was in 2014. He has been using this as his training base ever since.

"I started to take notice of this place while we were building houses around here," explains Khumalo. "Then I realized that East African countries like Kenya use this kind of place to produce champions. We started in 2014 to train here and every Saturday people were looking at us wondering what are these guys are up to. But today the results are there for everyone to see. Plus this place is so quiet for the athletes to be disciplined as not a lot of things are happening around here. I've still got bigger plans to assist the children in the community," he added.

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