Team Massmart is the first women’s only elite and sub-elite running club in the country. Proudly sponsored by Massmart, a company who seeks to create opportunities for people to prosper, Team Massmart is focused on the promotion and development of elite female marathon and ultra-distance running.
Founded in November 2017, Team Massmart was formed to fulfil Ann’s dream of making a difference in South Africa. She believes that by identifying young talent, nurturing and developing that talent through coaching and mentorship, and by providing athletes with both equal opportunities and the resources they need to fulfil their athletic potential, Team Massmart has the opportunity to change lives. Everyone should have the opportunity to chase their dream.
Team Massmart is comprised of 16 women between the ages of 23 and 45, all of which work full time and need to juggle their running between busy work and family lives.
Our Sponsor: Massmart
In contrast to other club sponsors, Massmart does not actively market or promote its involvement in the team, nor does it draw attention to the difference it has made within the lives of each athlete. Rather, Massmart has sought to quietly guide the development of the team by providing each athlete with a platform for chasing dreams.
In addition to providing the team with essential funding, thereby covering the cost of running kit, running shoes, coaching, training camps, race entries, race transport and accommodation, guest/motivational speakers and, occasionally, a contribution toward an athlete’s medical expenses, Massmart has also ensured that each athlete feels actively supported by its staff and employees.
Whether it’s a gift of flowers on their birthday, or a box of gorgeous running kit delivered when an athlete achieves a PB (personal best time), Massmart always goes out of its way to make this team feel enormously valued.
Massmart is a sponsor with a difference.
Home Grown Development
Team Massmart is wholly committed to the development of young South African talent. This means that the team supports only South African athletes and has taken a firm decision not to simply recruit elite athletes from other clubs, but to focus its attention on building an elite team from scratch.
This approach has reaped huge rewards for the team which has achieved the following accolades within its first two years:
Team Massmart Mentorship Program
In September 2018, Team Massmart launched the Mentorship Program whereby 6 elite athletes took responsibility for the mentorship of 6 sub-elite athletes, athletes whom Ann identified as having the potential to satisfy the elite standard (a sub 3h00 marathon) within a period of 6 to 18 months.
This program has been a resounding success and has seen the team’s younger athletes thrive and reach for the stars. Mentors are encouraged to meet with their respective mentees once a month and to take active steps toward the development of a sub-elite athlete, both on and off the road.
Our focus on Sportsmanship
Team Massmart prides itself on good sportsmanship. Having experienced the elite ladies field as being rife with insincerity, insecurity, and jealousy, Ann was determined to create a team in which each athlete feels both nurtured and respected. More than that, Ann wanted to belong to a team in which genuine friendships could be formed and where athletes who compete, are also able to share their knowledge, skills and experience with others, in order to elevate and develop the team as a whole.
Team Massmart is all about helping each other grow into the very best athletes we can be. More than that, Team Massmart prides itself on not participating in the negative behaviour often experienced within the elite ladies field.
This is encapsulated in the team’s 2019 slogan: “With each other. For each other.” It is an attitude which is displayed both within the club and in our team’s dealings with other athletes on and off the road.
Interested in joining the Team
If you’d like to know more about joining Team Massmart, whether as an elite or sub-elite athlete, please get in touch with Ann by completing the form below.