With the Western Province High School athletics season nearing the business end, it’s all systems go for the Western Province high schools’ junior championships that start today at the Bellville Velodrome and ends on Saturday at Vygieskraal Stadium.
This will see all the top athletes from the Northern, Southern, Table Bay and False Bay zones do battle for a spot in the Western Province team.
Among the standout athletes representing the northern zone will be De Kuilen High Schools’ Cam’ron Thomas who did well in the boys’ under-14 100m sprint event, finishing in third place, at the Northern Zone championships, at the Bellville Velodrome, at the weekend.
What made Cam’ron, 14, from Kuils River’s third place so special was that he qualified with the slowest time of 11.74 seconds among the finalists and finished with a bang in the final.
The former Labiance Primary School pupil missed out on qualification for the boys’ under-15 200m and 400m finals after he finished fourth and second in his heats.
Cam’ron will now hope to better his performance at this week’s Western Province High School Championships, where he will go up against the top athletes from the Southern, Table Bay and False Bay zones, at Vygieskraal Stadium.
“The zonal championships were competitive and intimidating. I was satisfied with my performances in my events but the real work begins now.
“It will be me against the clock at the Western Province champs and hopefully my best will be enough to make the WP team to participate at the Western Cape championships, later this month, in Paarl. The last time I competed at the WP championships was back in primary school but the level of competition in high school is way tougher,” he said.
However, what now counts in Cam’ron’s favour is that the northern zone has always dominated the WP champs but he said anything is possible on the day.
The youngster started his track and field season in fine style, finishing second in the boys’ under-15 100m sprints and first in the 200m and 400m sprint events at the Co-Ed B athletics meet, at the Parow athletics track, earlier this month.
Cam’ron also came sixth in the boys’ under-16 100m sprints, at the Puma School of Speed competition, at Green Point Athletics Stadium, last month.
The competition offers promising sprinters the opportunity to land a professional sports contract and access to high-level coaching.
The School of Speed is headed by Jamaican and eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt, who has appointed SA 100m champion Henricho Bruintjies as his vice principle in South Africa.
The first School of Speed series took place in Pretoria, in December and ended in Paarl yesterday Tuesday February 28. This was after it was in Roodepoort and Durban, earlier this month.
Last year, Cam’ron made the perfect debut to high school athletics, finishing first in the boys’ under-14 long jump, 100m and 200m sprint events. However, he could not repeat his performance at the Northern Zone champions and that was where his schools’ athletics season came to an end.
“Last year was tougher because I did not know what to expect. This year I am better prepared mentally and physically,” said Cam’ron, who credits his former teacher Adele Adams and parents Wesley and Mandy for all their support.
“My parents are my number one fans as they are at most of my athletics competitions. My former athletics coach Adele Adams at Labiance always told me that I have the potential in the sprint events,” he said.
One of the executive members of the northern zone team, Llwellyn Arendse, said the zone has always had about 70% of their athletes in the Western Province team.
“Athletics is a focus in the northern zone whether it is at schools or clubs. Most of our athletes belong to clubs and have a winter programme during the off season.To practice a few weeks before a competition is not the best idea,” he said.