Behind every great athlete and team there is a person that coordinates it all. This is where Martin Ngwenya steps in as running coordinator and athlete manager for Mr Price Sports. He is not only a very humble person but also a great athlete in his own right. I am very thankful that he has taken some time to help us get to know him better and give us a glimpse into his world.
How did you get involved in sport and managing athletes?
Like any young township kid I started my athletics career at school in early 90’s. I was also an sponsored athlete. Through my discipline, dedication and willingness to learn other parts of running, that’s how I end up managing athletes.
If someone wants to follow in your footsteps and turn their love of sport into a career what would you suggest they do?
You need to have passion, discipline and respect, most of all you have to stay focused in your training.
What is your top 5 Road runs that every South African should participate in and why?
It is very hard to specify races. It depends on which events an athlete specializes in. If a runner is a middle-distance runner I would choose following races
1-Sanlam Cape Town 10km race
2-Two Oceans Half Marathon
3-FNB 10km in Durban
4-any Spar races for ladies
For a Marathon and Ultra runner
1-Sanlam Cape Town Marathon
3-Two Oceans Marathon
4-Loskop Ultra Marathon
5-Comrades Ultra Marathon
Why these races? It’s because there are very competitive and well recognized.
What is your favorite race that you participated in, why was it special?
Mr Price 10km in 1997 it was a two lap’s race in Bloemfontein. What made it special was, it had the whole cream of the crop of South Africas top runners. It was won by Meck Mothuli which only class of the 90’s will know.
Why is it exciting to be an athlete in South Africa?
Apart from living healthy lifestyle is socializing with other people…
What is the best piece of advice you’re received that inspired you?
I can achieve what I want to achieve, if I just put focus and energy into it.
For any new athletes wanting to take up running what advice would you give them?
They must start with basics (5km, 10km and 21km) most athletes, especially in KZN, all want to become Ultra distance runners but for young athletes my advice will be to start with Track and Cross Country before they do road running.
What are the most common mistakes you see runners do and any advice?
Athletes start running without warm upping.
If I had to take a peek in your gym bag what would find?
How do you prepare for race day?
Speed, endurance training and gym
Rising stars for us to look out for?
Nkosikhona Mhlakwana he was position 11 at his debut Comrades Marathon.
All I can say is we are blessed in South Africa with good weather for running most of the year, and we have amazing athletes do a lot for the sport. If there is anything else that you would like to know about being a sports manager, or anything else about Martin drop me a comment.
If you would like join me on my social media https://www.facebook.com/SpookyBooZoo