Three years ago, after running a silver medal time at the Comrades Marathon, I had an unbelievably ambitious dream to aim for a top 10 and a gold medal in the 2013 Comrades Marathon. Being completely naïve, my first instinct was to contact my hero and Comrades Marathon legend Bruce Fordyce to ask for advice. Bruce was remarkable and in addition to giving me plenty of tips on training for Comrades he put me in touch with Nick Bester and the Nedbank running club for additional guidance and support.
Being included in the Nedbank Green Dream Team was a huge honor and I remember being completely star struck and in awe of my fellow Green Dream Team athletes and inspired to train harder, run faster and be more like them. My biggest inspirations (who were then my team mates and today are still my biggest inspirations) were Rene Kalmer, Christine Kalmer and Irvette van Zyl. At that stage I felt as though I wasn’t good enough to be in such esteemed company and that motivated me to get good enough.
Over the last three years I have learnt and grown under the Nedbank team, I have made life long friendships both locally and internationally and I am incredibly grateful for the support and opportunities I was afforded during this time.
Towards the end of 2015 I heard that KPMG was launching a running club. Being a CA(SA) I was naturally intrigued and drawn to the idea that one of the greatest firms in my profession was entering into the South African running scene. I sought to find out more information and was fascinated to discover that KPMG had been supporting local athletics for the previous three years through a development athletic program at Vorentoe Highschool called the KPMG Vorentoe Running Academy. What was even more impressive was how successfully this program was being run with athletes from this school earning 38 SA Championship medals in each of the previous two years in athletics and cross country. I am passionate about education and athletic development in our country and to see the difference that one corporate could make in such a short period of time opened my eyes to the extent of talent we have within our country and how important it is to nurture this talent and create opportunities for it. I have no doubt in my mind that future Olympic and World Champions will come from this development program KPMG has put in place.
I was therefore incredibly excited to receive an opportunity to become a part of the KPMG Elite Running Squad, not only as a proud CA(SA) and runner, but also as a proud South African who believes in the talent of my country. I am immensely proud to be a part of this fantastic structure that KPMG has put in place to change lives.
A huge thank you to Pierre Jacobs and Dana Coetzee for including me in the KPMG team. I am looking forward to an amazing year of making dreams a reality!