Local athlete beats odds

Mdantsane-based athlete Sikelela Kakele is a beacon of hope for his community after having overcome the odds to become a driven, competitive triathlete.

“I originally wanted to do life-saving back in 2012 but I couldn’t swim.

“I started learning in a swimming pool and then later in the sea,” the young Kakele said.

After two years of perfecting his swimming, he passed a life-saving course in Cape Town at Monwabisi Beach.

“After that I competed in my first Tribal Triathlon race in 2014. What I learnt from that race is that one needs to train very hard,” he said.

RUNNING THE DISTANCE Sikelela Kakele taking part in the recent Tribal Triathlon Series race of the season. Picture: AMANDA NANO

He also sought the advice of other triathletes, including that of veteran trainer Vukile Makeleni.

Kakele was then later selected to attend go on a nine-month youth exchange programme for triathlon training in Hannover, Germany, in October 2017.

“It was difficult to train alone but I joined a club in December. I swam and cycled four times a week and ran at least four times a week,” Kakele said.

When he returned to SA, got back to the country, he decided to compete in another Tribal Triathlon.

“With this competition, my training in Germany really helped a lot. I pushed hard to win second place in the sprint distance even though the weather conditions weren’t ideal,” he said.

The sprint distance consists of a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run.

The determined Kakele also plans to take part in the Ironman Competition in Buffalo City in January 2019.

“I also want to compete in the Durban Ironman because my ultimate goal is to qualify for the World Championships that will take place in France next year,” he said.

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