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01 Aug, 2013

Bedfordview Country Club

2396
Bedfordview Country Club

Joining BCC is like becoming part of a huge family – there is always someone to chat to, always someone on hand with advice, and always someone around who guides and cares. However, the best part of the club has to be the great balance between its professional approach to races and running, and its social vibe that has seen many members form lifelong friendships. And no matter what sporting discipline you prefer, you will be able to find your niche within the BCC club structure.

 

HOW IT ALL STARTED

BCC (or Kensington Polytechnic as it was formerly known) was founded in 1925 and went through some name changes, until in the mid-70s it was decided to call it Bedfordview Country Club. It started as a multi-faceted sports club catering for 12 different sports, but running was not one of them. Then one evening during the Running Boom years, after soccer/hockey training, while cooling off with a cold beer, the question was asked, “Why don’t we start a running section at the club?” This led to the athletics section being established in September 1978.

 

Today the club has just over 300 members and a close affiliation with Virgin Active, though the memberships are entirely separate. However, club members feel privileged to have the Virgin Active facilities available on the club grounds.

 

CLUB CULTURE

BCC’s primary focus now is its athletics section, which continues to flourish and boasts a healthy cross-section in terms of running strengths and abilities. The running does tend to be more intense during the first half of the year, when races like Two Oceans and Comrades are some of the bigger goals, but all other goals are catered for.

 

Regular morning runs from the club grounds keep members motivated, while a host of other social activities include a monthly ‘Takkie Draw,’ an annual club pub run, an annual year-end prize-giving, and also club weekends away. The highlight weekend is normally the Sabie Shufflers weekend, where parties around the campfire, Springbok rugby supporting and family time become the focus of the weekend.

 

SERIOUS ATHLETES

Naturally, the club has it fair share of speedsters and these include Anton Marais, Arthur Woolridge, Glen Mokgatlhe, Brian Curtis, John Karle, Jane MacKinnan and Jodi Zulberg, to name but a few! And those members who feel the need for speed can join the weekly time trials of 4km and 8km every Wednesday. The club also boasts a Performance Squad, for runners who are not always able to afford joining a club, or buying running shoes or supplements. The aim is for them to achieve to the best of their ability through the correct training and coaching, and who knows, perhaps someday one of them will win Comrades! This squad is in the very capable hands of Club Captain Ray Orchison, who has run five Comrades with a PB of 7:18.

 

BCC is one of the few running clubs that also offers strong triathlon and cycling sections. The Triathlon Section, headed by experienced triathlete Bill Coop, has grown markedly over the last five years, and members participate in all distances, from sprint to Ironman. In 2012, the club’s entries into Ironman SA and 70.3 were the highest to date, 24 and 17 respectively. Many members excelled at provincial and national level, with Jodi Zulberg, Arkaitz Poncela and Rob Kellock not only winning their age groups in the SA Champs for ultra-distance triathlon, but also going on to participate in the World Champs in Spain.

 

The Cycling Section, headed by experienced cyclist Michelle Joseph, caters for all levels of cyclists and has produced great results at various races countrywide.

 

THE DIS-CHEM HALF MARATHON

BCC is especially known for its Dis-Chem Half Marathon, one of Gauteng’s premier road running events and one of the biggest and most popular half marathons in the country, with close to 6 000 entries. The organising is always superb and many athletes look forward to this season-opening event, as it is not only situated perfectly on the running calendar to kick the year off in style, but is also known for one of the best goodie bags in the country.

 

The 2013 race will be the 32nd running and the celebration of the 12th anniversary of the Dis-Chem sponsorship. Fundraising for worthy causes has been a superb feature of the event, and last year R14 220 was collected for the Sports Trust as well as another R12 660 for the Namaqua Dog and Donkey Foundation, all coming from donations from race entrants. This was matched by the Dis-Chem Foundation, bringing the total to R28 440 collected for the Sports Trust and R25 320 for the NDDF!

 

JOIN US!

So, if you want to have a lot of fun, meet and run with a wonderful group of people, but still be competitive while achieving your goals, this is the family to join. Visit the club website at www.bedfordviewathletics.co.za for more details.