“A healthy mind inside a healthy body is important.”
Apt words from an appreciative Mr Thulani Khumalo, principal of Aldinville Senior Primary School. These words made up some of his heartfelt thank you to Prodigal Khumalo, the Mr Price Foundation and Mr Price Sport teams who spent a morning with some of the students of the school in Groutville, 60 kilometers north of Durban.
The school was founded in 1844 by missionary Aldin Grout, and is said to be one of the oldest schools in KwaZulu-Natal. Also, interesting to note, Nobel Peace Prize winner and politician, Chief Albert Lutuli is said to have attended Aldinville Primary School. Lutuli was the first African (and first person from outside of Europe and the Americas) to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Aldinville Senior Primary School is one of five underprivileged, no-fee schools in the KwaDukuza Municipality that was selected by the MRP Foundation to receive support and guidance in the foundation’s five-year programme.
The Mr Price Foundation’s mission is to unlock tomorrow’s potential by empowering young South Africans in low-income communities. This is achieved through the foundation’s innovative programmes in education and skills development, programmes that are constantly evolving as they work towards systematic changes, making a deeper impact, and ultimately ending poverty and inequality.
The goal of the teams’ visit to Aldinville was twofold: to reiterate the importance of sport and healthy living; and to highlight the Mr Price Foundation’s ‘Together We Do Good’ sustainability initiative, a mission that aims to build a sustainable, responsible and lasting business that cares for the communities and environment in which the Mr Price group operates.
Through their vital partnerships, holistic interventions and “together we do good” approach, Mr Price Foundation have implemented a PE curriculum, an arts programme, teacher development programmes, as well as management and leadership support for parents, principals, teachers and heads of departments.
Prodigal Khumalo – Maxed team runner, Comrades Marathon multi-gold medallist, and 2016/2017 Ultra Trail Cape Town winner - was invited by the Mr Price Foundation to inspire and motivate some of the school’s students.
Zimbabwean-born Prodigal Khumalo (who is Ndebele but speaks six languages) addressed the pupils in Zulu. He spoke from the heart, briefly touching on his own obstacles in life, but focused mainly on the importance of education, finishing school, and the importance of staying clear of bad influences.
“Anything is possible if your goals are clear and if you stay focused. Don’t get distracted by bad influences. If you do good things, your life will be good. If you do bad things, your life will be bad.”
Prodigal shared his own inspiring story of how sports and running changed his life, and how his focus has got him to where he is as a legend in the world of running – both as a Comrades Marathon runner, and as an Ultra Trail Cape Town champion. While he relayed his wisdom, the children passed around some of the medals earned by Prodigal.
Following his talk, the group of kids were quizzed about what he’d told them. Five students who correctly answered a few questions all scored a Maxed backpack, filled with a selection sporting essentials – perfect kit for any aspiring champion.
“What they have been told today will stay with them forever. Your advice won’t be erased from their minds,” said Aldinville principal, Mr Khumalo. The school has already produced an African hero, and who knows, with newly sown seeds of motivation, Aldinville might just have another future history-maker in its midst.