After receiving and sifting through hundreds of applications from athletes all over South Africa, it is our pleasure to introduce you to 2020’s On Ambassadors!
This year’s applications far exceeded our expectations, both in quantity and quality, and although we can only choose a certain amount of people to represent On at events in 2020, we are already looking forward to your applications in 2021. If this year’s entrants are any indication, we are excited to see what the amateur and professional sporting world will dish up in the future.
We are honoured to introduce you to 2020 On Ambassador, Mbuso Zama.
Please tell us about your favourite type of sport? How / when did you start doing this sporting / fitness activity?
My interest in running started five years ago, after a close friend recovered from a near-death accident and used running to regain his core muscles. From being told he would never walk, he went on to complete the Comrades Marathon. I recall him dragging me to Durban Runner to do my foot measurement, then buying a high-mileage running shoe, which I ended up just using for parkruns.
The 4th of December 2018, a day after my birthday, is the day I consider as the beginning. I had received a gift with conditions – a fitness tracking watch, which I would have to pay for if I did not meet my weekly goals.
How has running changed your life?
My suits actually fit me the way they look on a magazine model. I have made a lot of friends through running. One of the most interesting things is that the running jargon is the same across different cultures, races, and religions.
I have always been an early riser – not to run, but just to get ready for work before everyone else. Now I use the time to go and do my mid-week training at Lahee Park in Pinetown, and still make it back in time to drop my daughter off at school, and get to work on time.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out with a new fitness routine?
Ask lots and lots of questions to seasoned runners. Most people usually say there is no proper induction done with running – read a lot publications about the sport.
If you have a partner, please introduce them to the sport, be it to run with you or just to give you a jacket at the end of your race, otherwise they will be bored with your running stories.
How important is having quality footwear when training?
The shoes carry all your body weight, be it indoor training or running outside on the road. Not wearing quality footwear can lead to injuries, and also possibly to fatigue, because of the shoe’s performance.
With running one needs to know their foot type – whether you supinate or pronate. Only high-quality footwear caters for both.
Do you prefer to train alone or with other people?
I balance both. If I am doing strength training in the gym, I prefer a group. When I am on my legs, training on the road, one usually ends up alone, although you can still see or be seen by your running mates.
What race or event are you most looking forward to this year?
I am looking forward to the Deloitte Challenge marathon in Durban, my first ultra marathon, the Two Oceans, and my first Comrades Marathon on the 14th of June. I am excited to celebrate my first anniversary of the Cape Town Marathon on the 18th of October.
What is your sporting motto?
“Don’t chase them, they will come to you.” – Ungabajahi Bazozizela
What role do you believe your sporting discipline can play in the upliftment of communities or of our country?
Running is easily understood by everyone. The language is the same across cultures, therefore it can break the silos amongst different cultures.
There is unity in the running community, and our country needs more of this every day.