The Bibles for the Sudan’s Project

We would like to give our athletes a more frequent update on the projects that are currently running at S4J. This week we will focus on the Bibles for the Sudan’s project.

One of the key projects of the S4J is Bible distribution to South Sudan and Sudan. We are aiming to sponsor 10000 Bibles to Sudan and 20000 Bibles to South Sudan at R 5 each in 2019. Currently we have 38 athletes raising funds for this project.

The the next batch of Bibles is being printed and readied for the long trip to North Africa. 10 000 Bibles will be going to Sudan and 20 000 Bibles will be delivered to a refugee camp in Kapoeta in South Sudan in the next couple of months.

A limited edition S4J Bible was launched at the recent 2019 50 km Loskop Marathon that took place on 13 April. Chanelle Retief’s father Johann and mother Cindy was at the gazebo to hand out Bibles as the Holy Spirit lead. The theme of S4J at Loskop was: celebrating the Life and Legacy of Pierre & Erika Bantjes. We created a profile so that people who wanted to donate could do so. Betsie Drost, our Financial Administrator, was representing the SSNET office at the tent. It was a most memorable day.

Save the Date!!!

18 May 2019

Our  S4J Team Braai will be held on 18 May 2019. It will be held at 55 Dely Rd, Maroelana, Pretoria. We start the fires at 12pm.

We are going to have very interesting speakers for you in the afternoon. We are also going to have the support bags available for the two Support Stations which we will be manning for the day at the Comrades.

All you have to do is let Norman or myself know that you are coming and we will make sure that you will have an afternoon to remember. You bring along something to braai and something to drink. We will take care of the side dishes.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Eddie Howden


S4J and the St Mary’s Connection

This past weekend we hosted a water table at Om die Dam for the first time! It was a young affair as we, also for the first time, invited students from St. Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls in Pretoria to assist us as part of their Social Responsibilities commitments. We also had a couple of our S4J stalwarts present to keep the young-uns in tow.

Unfortunately there were a couple of hiccups with the race organization, but even so, it was a memorable day. What was different at this event for us was the enthusiasm that the girls brought with them. There is no substitute for youth! They performed the task with reckless abandon which was so refreshing. We will most certainly make use of the girls at DSG again if they will have us.

Thanks so much to the S4J “staatmakers”. This would not be the same without you!

Eddie Howden


A very hot Sunday!

Deloitte’s has come and gone, but I cannot shrug off the feeling of what could have been.

The day started off with glorious weather and a full and vibrant team at our water point at Pretoria Boys High. We were given enough ice,water and coldrink sachets to start the day off.

A second load of ice came at around 9am for which we were most grateful. But it soon became apparent that the water was not going to last the race. There was also no water to be had from other points. As we feared the water ran out at around 10:30am. We then resorted to other means of getting water to the athletes.

This is our Plan B.


These were not water sachets but the next best thing.I did start wondering though if the Deloitte’s Marathon was taking a huge step backward regarding organization of the even. You almost got the feeling that it was more of a hassle than the opportunity to present a premium event.

Horror stories of other mishaps at water points come trickling through via the athletes: no water, only four helpers at a table, no ice, and so on.

So to Deloitte’s: Not a great show guys!

To the athletes: It was a privilege to be of service to you!

From both sides now: an athlete’s perspective on working at a water point

Joni Mitchell sang a very popular song about love: “From both sides now”. The lyrics “ I’ve looked at love from both sides now”, might just as well be translated into “I’ve looked at races from both sides now” for the purpose of this article.

As athletes, we sometimes forget about the hard work that goes into the organising of a race. We take for granted the fact that everything; from the entries, toilets, water points and traffic marshals, will be in place. We bargain on the fact that there will be a well-stocked water point every 3 km, and that there will be in fact water, cold drinks etc. What we often forget, (and by “we” I count myself as well!), is that the helpers at a water point are volunteers, who have no control over how much water there are, how cold the water is, etc. They are there to serve, and make the race more pleasurable for the athletes.

I’ve had the privilege to be a helper at a few S4J water points, and being an athlete myself who has run countless races over the years, I think I can give an accurate view of a race from both sides of the water table. 😉

For the sake of brevity I’ve used the following abbreviations: WPH = water point helper
A = athlete

1. Early morning
A: Get up at 4h30, get ready, drive to race, do all the necessary things to line up for a 6h00 start.

WPH: Get up at 3h30, get ready to be at water point at around 4h00. Put up tables, stack cups, pour cold drink into said cups; break big blocks of ice into plastic containers; cut open countless boxes of water sachets and throw them into the container. Ensure that all helpers know what to do, where to stand (out of athletes’ way!) etc.

2. Start of race
A: Start running when the gun sounds

WPH: Depending on which point in the race your water point is, get ready to serve. Might take up to 40 minutes of waiting.

3. Water point (first round)
A: Get to table, grab some water sachets (or 2 or 4, or on some cases 8!), maybe drink some Coke. Thank or don’t thank the WPH. May complain about water not being cold enough. Drop sachets in bin, next to bin, or in the vicinity of the water table. Carry on with race.

WPH: For the next 30-40 minutes, some or all of this happens: stand and hand out sachets. Pour cold drinks. Hand out sachets. Again. Explain why all the sachets aren’t icy cold. Pour some more cold drinks. Try to keep the plastic container with the water sachets cold with extra ice, which you buy from the nearby garage. Use the rake to gather the discarded sachets together. Start picking up rubbish. If it is a double lap race (10/21 km, or 21/42 km), get ready to do it all over again in the next hour.

4. Water point (second round)
A: See point 3. May complain louder about the lack of water, or the coldness thereof. Discard sachets anywhere near the water point. Or not even near. Carry on with race.

WPH: See point 3. Give up trying to rake the sachets out of the way of the athletes. There are too many (sachets, and sometimes athletes..). Try to explain that it is not your fault that there is no water left, or that the water that is left, is not cold.

5. After the race.
A: Finish the race. Collect medal. Rest. Go to club gazebo and complain loudly about the lack of water at some races, and the fact that you almost fell while slipping on “so many!” water sachets that are just lying on the ground at the water point. Go home.

WPH: After the last athlete has passed the water point, start to pack up, clean up, pick up, rake etc. Ensure that the area around the water point is completely clean. Chase a few stray water sachets that the wind blew into drains and neighboring gardens. Fold up the tables and pack away. Go home.

Although I may have over-dramatised some of the negative things happening, I must also say that most of the athletes that go through a water point are friendly, say “thank you”, and try to throw their sachets in the bin. When running a race, I make a point of thanking the helpers, and try to throw my waste in one of the bins.

I wish every athlete gets a chance to serve at a water point. It is very rewarding to help, and also a great way of giving back.

-Annelize Hietbrink, S4J Ladies Captain