La Grange raises $3k for SA triathlete

MUTARE - Zimbabwean Tammy la Grange has raised $3 200 to help paralysed South African triathlete Richard Holland after running 2 050km for charity last year.

Holland, who represented South Africa at the 2007 World Championships in Germany, suffered life-threatening injuries when a car hit him from behind while he was training in Dubai three years ago.

The 32-year-old suffered broken ribs, punctured lungs, a broken leg and a broken brain stem. This brain injury left Holland in a medical state called Locked-in-Syndrome.

This is a complete paralysis state in which Holland cannot move or communicate verbally.

Holland’s family and friends then started a campaign called “Back On Your Bike” to help with his medical rehabilitation and other related expenses.

La Grange says she has now done her part and has passed on the button to South African-based Zimbabwean twins Russell and Ryan Moss who hope to run 2 015km each for the same cause.

“They are two of my friends based in South Africa who have committed to run 2 015km each this year. There are already more than halfway,” she said.

The Mutare-based 30-year-old woman, who continues to run “out of habit and for fun” , participated in the Tanganda Half Marathon held here at the weekend.

“I run in this race because I’m fortunate enough to be able to run,” she said.

La Grange said her campaign has also helped improve the safety of athletes both during training and in competitions.

“People are more aware now and are more cautious of safety — both athletes and other road users,” she said.

La Grange, her family and friends last year would brighten athletics events in their orange masks and matching racing outfits, which is Holland’s favourite colour.

La Grange argues that she was obliged to help Holland regardless of the nationality because a similar accident could happen to anyone.

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