3 Young Runners Emerge from Philippolis

This journey started with a young boy from Philippolis, George Thiane who spent his afternoons running laps around the field every day after school.

Lulani Vermuelen, a South African marathon runner and Head of Good Work Foundation’s Philippolis Digital Learning Campus loved watching Georgie run and would, from time to time, help him and keep time records for him when she could. More and more kids gained interest and joined Georgie on his afternoon runs, compelling Lulani to ramp the training up a notch.

Lulani started to dedicate most of her afternoons during school holidays to running and training the kids of Philippolis who later caught the attention of Boxhill School in the UK, who started fundraising to sponsor the best three runners to the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town.

When competition time came, Duan Darison, Jo-sylva Voster and Emmerantia Van Vyk became the talk of the town as they took part in a race of 3000 runners for 5,6km in Cape Town. This was the first proper race all three runners had ever been exposed to, and all three completed the race and brought medals back home to Philippolis.

Georgie unfortunately could not be part of the running team after having gone through a tough time when he suddenly lost his grandmother who was his sole caregiver. Georgie was   certainly the inspiration behind these young runners as they emerged and grew a passion for running from watching him do his afternoon laps after school and during school holidays.

“These schoolchildren were used to running in Otterskloof events where there would normally be 150 runners. So it was such an awesome experience for them to run in such a big race,” said Lulani.

We wish all three runners the best as they continue to train and learn more about running competitions. We hope to see them compete in international competitions, joining other athletes to put South Africa on a map.

Thank you Boxhill for your ongoing support and for making this event possible for our young runners.

Editors note: If it has anything to do with sport and if you have talent, make sure that Lulani Vermeulen doesn’t spot you. Because if she does, good luck is all we can say. A few students from Philippolis went from a little after-school running, to marathons in Cape Town, all in a few months. That’s just the way that Lulani’s brain works. And just in case you didn’t know, Lulani is running the Great Wall Marathon in China in May. Go Lulani!

Cover Photo

Proud moment!

Photo 1

Duan Darison, one of the medallists from Philippolis, says he loves running because it is one of his relaxation mechanisms.

Photo 2

“Running keeps me fit and healthy because at the same time it takes my mind off hurtful things; and thus taught me to look after myself,” said Emmerantia.

Photo 3

Three medallists from Philippolis, from left to right: Emmerantia Van Wyk, Duan Darison and Jo-sylva Voster who made Philippolis proud for getting a medal each, with their coach, Lulani Vermeulen, (left back) and Milla van Wyk (right back).

Written by Hazyview Media Agency