Leander Pholman – breaking ELSEN Boland school records at 15

PAARL:- At the age of 15, Leander Pholman holds two brand new ELSEN Boland school records. But it wasn’t always as easy as it seems.

Despite some success earlier on, he wasn’t considered to be champion material. Fortunately, the combination of sheer determination and a great family support structure kept him going, day after day – despite struggling to improve.

leander pholmanBut that all changed when his path crossed that of Clive Cupido, an established athlete and coach from the Langebaan Strandloper Athletic Club.

According to Clive, top athletes are blessed with both speed and endurance.

When he met Leander, the boy was lacking in the strength and endurance department. His core was so weak that he could only do 5 diamond pushups, and plank for 25 seconds. He wasn’t even able to balance his feet on a yoga ball.

So they set to work on core programs during the last months of Covid

To sum up Clive’s own words:

What works for one athlete doesn’t necessarily work for another. Sometimes you have to think outside the box.

It seems this outside-the-box thinking took Leander from being a struggling athlete to a winning athlete – in just six months.

This is the result of the work that Leander and Clive put in since the middle of last year:

Leander entered as part of a team in the Miller Series, which consisted of 3 meetings the 4th, 17th and 19th of January 2022 At Greenpoint stadium in Cape Town

All of these races had appointed pace setters to ensure runners are running their best times

On the 4ht of January 2022, Leander started his first race (800m) in the C-race, and finished in a time of 2 min 04 sec – a new PB (personal best). He also outran the pace setter.

Unfortunately, Leander injured his hamstring because of a poor warming up.

From the 4th he only did core workouts – no running for 2 weeks to allow time for recovery.

On the 17th of January, Leander was entered in the B-race and ran a time of 2 min (a new PB) flat, once again outrunning the pace setter.

On the 19th, he was entered in the B-race and ran a time of 1min 58 seconds (another PB), again outrunning the pace setter.

On 22nd Jan 2022, he ran a 11.34 in the 100m qualifying (which is within SA Nationals qualification time), another PB.

He also ran the 200M in 23.54 (within SA Nationals qualification time), another PB at Parow at a WP Masters event.

On 16 Feb 2022 – at their school championships – he ran a 2.10 for the 800m.

He completed the 400m in 50.6 – a new ELSEN Boland Schools record and a new personal best.

He ran the 200M in 23.7 seconds

And to top it off, he set a new PB – and a new ELSEN Boland school record – at 1.85m for the high jump.

On the 24th of Feruary an Paarl:

He ran the 200m in 23.8 seconds.

He rand the 800m in 2.04 minutes.

And he topped it off with a 400m in 50.8 seconds – which you can see below:

According to his coach – Clive Cupido – Leander has been blessed with endurance and speed.

It seems that Leander met the right coach at the right time – considering his two new records, and SA Nationals qualification times for the 100m and 200m.

This is the man who took Leander to the next level in just six months:

Clive Cupido, an established all-round athlete and coach from the Langebaan Strandloper Athletic Club

Clive is an outstanding athlete not just in athletics but also in Biathlon, Biathlé (800m run, 100m swim & another 800m run), & Cross Country.

He appears to have a habit of collecting gold medals whenever he competes, regardless of whether he is competing in athletics, cross country, Biathlon or Biathlé.

Having amassed a wealth of experience – and in particular experience at winning – over the course of a number of years, he knows what it takes to win, and he knows how to bring an athlete to his or her peak.

With him as his coach, I expect to read a lot more in the news about Leander in the future.

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