As a dietician I know that good nutrition forms part of your daily life and that an athlete who competes in regular activities needs adequate nutrition to improve performance. I met Adam Maroko at a Trail Adventure race. At 39 year of age, Adam is an exceptionally good trail and cross country runner and wins most of his races.

Now you noticed I mentioned most of the races; that’s because Adam allows his students to win in some races to improve their talent as runners. Yes, Adam is a running coach and a very good one.

He and his team at Developing Coaches for Kagiso, Soweto are very determined to take the development of the community to higher places and their aim is to see more kids in their community take part and better their lives and the lives of their families.

Their goal is to change children through sports and help improve the community.

When I talk about children I am referring to the children of Kagiso Extension 12 in the Western area called Mogale CityThese kids come from rural areas and they have limited resources. Adam and his team are creating opportunities and developing talent among these children to improve their lives and their futures.

The children are embracing these opportunities with open hands and they are focusing on developing their talent. They have a purpose. Some of these children have represented Central Gauteng in the Provincial Championships in George and Cape Town.

Adam and his team volunteer their time within school development  to train more future athletes. They have a very strict training schedule in which the Development Coaches train with the kids during the week and on weekends they compete.

However there are limitations due to financial constraints. Some of the children used to run bare foot, but with the help of Shane Gouldie from Trail Adventure and Skechers, many of the children have running shoes now.

Trail Adventure have also donated running shirts to all 32 kids, Adam and his team of trainers. Back to Basics Nutrition South Africa also helped by providing all the kids with running caps and buffs which was especially helpful in the cold winter mornings before the races started.

The Development Coaches would like to provide more opportunities for the children to be able to run at trail and cross country running events but unfortunately travelling costs are preventing the team from competing.

For that reason Adam runs to win most of the races, not just to improve his running time and stay fit, but to win the prize money so that he can pay for travelling costs to take the children to the events.

“Children are our future and we need to let them run.”  –  Adam Maroko

As I got to know Adam better, I saw that he always strives to improve his time and has made the team to run for South Africa. He is an exceptional runner with amazing talent and I am his Dietician helping him with food and sports nutrition.

For the last month I have been working with Adam to improve his nutritional intake with the goal to improve his running time and maintain good health.  I developed a very cost effective meal plan for Adam which suited his training schedule. Back To Basics Nutrition South Africa supported by providing Adam with supplementary pre- and post shakes and energy drinks for his events.

I am pleased to report that Adam has improved his running time during competition and training. Last weekend he competed in the Central Gauteng Cross Country Race and he made the South African Team…Proper nutrition for improved performance.

Written by Tanya Alberts
(Registered Dietician)