- By: Patrick Atherton
- Short URL: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/pat4projectplayground
In August 2019 I was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
As a result of my diagnosis, prognosis and brain damage, I was told I wasn't able to work again. This meant that I had to step down as Managing Director of Blue Sky Publications, a business I co-owned and ran for most of my adult life. My life as I knew it had changed forever.
At first I felt a deep sense of loss - a loss of purpose and a loss of self. Little did I know that some extraordinary humans would come along and change that - they would change my life.
They gave my life meaning and purpose again.
These extraordinary humans are the staff and children from Project Playground, an NGO in the Langa and Gugulethu Townships in the Western Cape, South Africa, where I started volunteering in July 2020, initially teaching digital skills (my background) and my new love - meditation, which I believe is key to a healthy and fulfilling life. I also recently helped start a running club which runs every Friday afternoon from their Langa branch. This running club has doubled in size over the past month.
Project Playground is an amazing NGO that focuses on empowering over 840 vulnerable children and youth from townships outside of Cape Town.
Their vision is a world where every child and young person grows up with a belief in the future and the opportunity to positively impact their own lives.
After investing much time into mind and body strength building as part of my healing process, I realised that our bodies have so much potential and decided to start training to compete in the Ironman, starting with the 70.3 events and then eventually doing a full ironman.
On the 24th of April I took on my first half ironman distance race, my first triathlon ever, in the Race2Stanford event which was a 1.9km swim, 90km cycle followed by a 21km run. I finished 24th overall out of 136 athletes in a time of 05:36:28.
My next race is on the 6th of June at the Ironman Durban 70.3.
I decided that I would use my circumstances and my abilities to help raise awareness for Project Playground and to help them raise the desperately needed funds that they need to keep helping our vulnerable youth.
For as little as R40 you can feed a child for a week, and for R800 you can provide a family with therapeutic interventions for a month, which is much needed as many children face trauma, neglect and abuse.
Just think for almost the price of a daily coffee you can feed a child for a week.
Please help me make a difference in the lives of these extraordinary humans by donating generously to Project Playground.
I would also like to ask for gently worn, second hand running shoes (or new shoes if you are feeling generous) that anyone has lying around the house that they are not using. The kids that have joined the running club really have an opportunity to improve their lives and realise their true potential through this sport - but they need a little help in the form of running shoes and some kit.
A big thank you to PPG for welcoming me into their amazing Playground of hopes and dreams. I started volunteering so that I could change lives, little did I know was that volunteering would change mine.
A big thank you to my race sponsors Tractor Outdoor - thank you for providing me with a race kit so I can compete in branded clothing - further promoting the wonderful work that Project Playground does.
- Apr 26, 2021 - R 1 500.00
- "You’re an inspiration to us all! We salute you Pat! Xx" - Ivano, Keri & Leo
- Apr 26, 2021 - R 800.00
Thank you for making such a meaningful difference in these kids' lives Pat. You're a legend." - Nina
- Apr 24, 2021 - R 1 500.00
- "Patrick is an extraordinary person" - Cheryl
- Apr 24, 2021 - R 1 800.00
- "You my inspiration. Here is to many many more events and life celebrations. Behind you all the way. " - Lisa Heilbron
- Apr 24, 2021 - USD $ 75.00
- "What a man." - Keith Moore
- Apr 24, 2021 - USD $ 100.00
- "Miss you" - Anonymous
- Apr 24, 2021 - R 1 000.00
- "We love you Pat!!! Good luck! " - Isla & Hunter Boy
- Apr 23, 2021 - USD $ 70.00
- "With love from the CB Crew" - Nomis Notwal
- Apr 23, 2021 - R 500.00
- "So proud of you Pat! Best of luck! " - Daleen Spence
- Apr 23, 2021 - R 1 000.00
- "Good luck and have fun Pat." - The Wolff's
- Apr 23, 2021 - R 500.00
- "So inspiring, Pat! Volunteering changes us for the better, of that I have no doubt. Hamba gahle!" - Paul
- Apr 23, 2021 - USD $ 150.00
- "Such a legend! " - J
- Apr 23, 2021 - R 200.00
- "Well done. Proud of you." - Bruce Atherton
- Apr 22, 2021 - R 200.00
- "Incredible! Well done mate!" - Michael Niemann
- Apr 22, 2021 - USD $ 60.00
- "Good luck Patrick, your journey is inspirational, finding light in the darkness. " - Sheralee
- Apr 22, 2021 - R 1 000.00
- "Good luck Pat, all the best! " - Donovan
- Apr 22, 2021 - R 100.00
- "Such a heart warming story and worthy cause!" - Nico and Elma van Heerden
- Apr 22, 2021 - USD $ 150.00
- "You’re a legend and an inspiration ️ Keep shining xx" - GM
- Apr 22, 2021 - R 250.00
- "Best of luck Pat. You are ready! " - Pieter
- Apr 21, 2021 - USD $ 70.00
- "Keep inspiring boet. Such a worthy cause!" - Andy Atherton