South Coast Striders
About UsIn 1977 South Coast Striders was formed, thanks to the passion and energy of the late Brian Gibson-Taylor. He brought the sport of road running to the South Coast. At the time he was a member of Savages Running Club under whose auspices the Banana Marathon was run
In March 1977, in response to an advert in the local paper, the South Coast Herald, 14 enthusiastic runners met at the Margate Hotel, and the South Coast Striders Club was formed. Brian Gibson-Taylor chaired the meeting and produced the proposed constitution, and he remained the guiding force in the club until his tragic passing in 1989.
The first time trial was held on 30th March 1977, with the same 14 runners participating. Membership fees in those days were R6 per annum, and a good pair of "Tiger Cub" running shoes cost a hefty R20.
When the club first hosted the Banana Marathon the entrance fee was just R2. After this race several runners from remote areas decided to join the club and the club grew from strength to strength to over 200 members, with soon as many as 70 runners taking part in the Comrades.
In 1985 the Club moved to its own clubhouse on the banks of the scenic Uvongo River, prior to which it had been using the facilities at Douglas Mitchell Sports Club.
South Coast Striders continued to encourage runners to achieve their potential by arranging long runs over week-ends and sponsoring athletes to participate in marathons throughout the province.
The Club appeals to a wide range of athletes, from those wanting to win every event to those wishing only to experience the joy of taking part and finishing the race - and some others in between the two.
In 1998 President Nelson Mandela was at the finish of the Comrades Marathon and two lucky members, Adam Moosa and Swallen Ameer, were honoured to be greeted by the Great Man. In the Nineties South Africa's running icon, Frith van der Merwe was a member of South Coast Striders, and her presence helped greatly in the development of the Club.
B.T King was instrumental in the forming of a walking section and B.T. and Jinks Brokensha ensured that the Walkers became a force to be reckoned with.
In 2010 it was decided to amalgamate the running and walking sections, which, until then, had their own committees and finances. A new constitution was introduced bringing the Club in line with modern trends in road running / walking.
This brought a fresh bunch of young and enthusiastic members and the Club now reflects the huge diversity in personality and backgrounds of the members. The club caters for members from Amanzimtoti in the North to Port Edward in the South and inland as far as Harding.
Today the club is thriving with well attended time trials every Wednesday evening, along with the braais and sociable drinks in the clubhouse afterwards. Long runs and walks are organised just about every weekend and are well attended.
The South Coast Striders Club is not just about training and producing top-class athletes, it is about having fun as well. The members take their sport very seriously but there is always time for serious socialising in the clubhouse bar on a Wednesday evening.
Non-members are encouraged to come and visit the clubhouse to find out more about the club, or can contact one of the committee members for more information.
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