Rustenburg revels in Ronen’s moral victory
Rustenburg/ Potchefstroom – South Africans collectively drew a breath of fresh air in a world polluted by greed and corruption, as a true display of sportsmanship and Ubuntu was seen at the South African Cross Country Championships in Potchefstroom on Saturday, 9 September.
Ronen Oosthuizen, a grade 11 learner at Bergsig Academy and deputy head boy for the 2017/2018 year, gave up his position to help fellow athlete Mpho Mitchell from Guateng Cross Country North, as Mpho had fallen and was in pain and dehydrated. The story and photos of Ronan’s good deed has been circulated countless times on social media. South Africa is proud!
This was no small sacrifice, as the prestigious event saw many schools from across the country compete and included 250 boys in the age group 16 and 17 years old. Ronan’s previous achievements include a silver medal for inter-schools competing in Durban for the 1500m as well as a silver medal for the 1500m inter-clubs in Cape Town. He has reached IAAF qualifying standards for the world youth championships in Kenya, but did not go because the size of the team had been cut.
“My ambition is to study mechanical engineering in the USA while still doing athletics,” Oosthuizen said in an interview with the Platinum Weekly newspaper.
Ronen’s coach, Johan Marias, who coaches at the school and Protea Athletics club, said in an interview with Platinum Weekly: “It was an extremely hard race for him. He urged himself to go on and around 200m from the finish line he passed the other student. Mpho had fallen and was in pain and dehydrated and had come so far. Ronen felt he had to help Mpho finish as he was so close to the end. Giving up his position, he picked up his fellow athlete and competitor and made sure to lift him high enough to get him going again, urging him to not give up, and taking care not to lift Mpho off the ground as this would lead to disqualification.”
Marais added: “Although Ronen has achieved so much, he is a humble and dedicated boy. We at the school are proud of him. As a coach, I am amazed at the boy’s talent, hard work and dedication in all that he does.”
Ronen himself explained his action as follows: “I believe we need to be there for each other. I felt that I wanted to help him, I needed to help him. By being there for each other, we might all become successful.”
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