Tuesday, 28 August 2012


Leo Sekoere

Skater boys getting ready.
 The tar on the streets of Soshanguve knows them very well. Not only are they fast and furious but these hot wheels leave their mark everywhere they go. Monday to Friday! 5pm! No pain-no gain is their motto. These wheels are on the roll. No, I’m not talking about racing cars but I’m talking about Soshanguve’s first and only inline roller-skating team best known as “Soshanguve Roller-skating club”.
This team was formed in 2005 and it consists of 8 dedicated skaters headed by Muzi Mkhalipi (coach) and managed by Sibulele Mvikili. They’ve had many endeavours in the past seven years , the most recent being an opportunity to represent North Gauteng at the International Opening in Suncity. Two of their members, Hlulani Sithole and Chris Teller, represented the team at this prestigious roller skating affair which saw the 15 year old Teller winning 2nd Place in a race against his peers.
When their competitors meet them at the race tracks they have no idea that this team has no skating facilities. They meet at Manager’s house everyday at 17:00 Hoo, collect their gear and race on the same roads that cars, busses and taxis travel on. The managers say that she worries about their safety every time they go out. This is a serious risk. One needs no expertise to figure out what dangers this can pose.
Boys showing off their skating shoes
According To their coach  the team has written countless letters to the MEC of Sports over the past seven years, they have even approached the Ward 90 councillor(Cir M.S Marotola) in efforts to get sponsorship or any kind of Donation to build skating facilities. Their efforts were in vain,Marotola however did assure the team that he will find them a temporary place to practice but it has been nearly two years since this assurance was made-still no manifestation.
 Without skating facilities sheer passion is their motivation. Despite countless bruises and bumps, even dangerous conditions, they are relentless. Some have never missed a practice session since they joined the team. The members of this team all have individual stories about how skating shifted them away from the woes of township life towards  positivity. “My son was very big! He wore size 36 but since he started skating he shed the weight and he looks even better”, says Mvikili who is also the manager of the team. Skating is also a recreational tool to most of the boys, they say that after they’ve done their homework afterschool they let loose by doing a couple of laps around a curvy road in block BB (Soshanguve).
It was fun watching them tease each other and joke while they practiced. It was almost as if they were all brothers.With such team spirit these boys are destined for greatness. They have contagious passion and judging from the looks in their eyes when the skate-they enjoy what they do. All they need is a good Samaritan to help them get a safe place to practice.
“Skating on the road is very dangerous. Sometimes i get scared but what can i do? Skating is in my blood”-Chris Teller.

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