FOUNDER AND CEO
I’ve been involved with sports since I was 5. My late brother was my inspiration. At age 5 I started Karate which taught me discipline and respect. At 12 I had my black belt and my own dojo where kids would come to train. Growing up I had never been exposed to gyms, but through Karate I was learning about the body and muscle groups. At 19 while exercising, I really stumbled on body building by chance. I had not even heard of the concept, but was exercising and introduced to it by a friend. “
Claude rattles off a list of tromphies and awards he has received over the years – from being Junior champ of Gauteng in 1999 ,to representing SA in 2007, being the WPF SA champion, and top 5 in the World Championships in that same year.
” The award that I am most proud of though is the award I got in 2000 – I received the Masakani Community Builder Award for making a difference in my community. Community development through sports is really the drive behind everything that I do. We have so many young people being lured into the world of crime and drugs- we need to offer them alternatives. When I started the gym here at the Cosmo community center the first people to come and check it our were this group of elderly ladies. We have a work out program for them every Tuesday and Thursday and they attend faithfully. We’ve seen such wonderful results in their health too from the exercise. ” Besides reaching out to the elderly, I discover that Claude is involved in many different upliftment programs ” We have a similar program like this in Soweto, and have just recently opened up a Computer Hub called ‘ Future Engineers’ inRiver Sands where young people can go and learn how to use a computer and receiving tutoring. We also help them to apply for bursaries at the universities. I’m very involved with the schools in the area as well. “
Claude helps to host Body Building Shows, but its not always easy.
” A lot of this I fund privately. The guys that I train cannot afford to pay R700 to enter a show. “
Tumi and found out a little bit more about this amazing young man.
“ I was born in Limpopo, but moved to Johanesburg when I was a few years old and went to school in Witkoppen. Later, I attended Ferndale High. I wasn’t a book learner though and didn’t make it to matric. I’m really good with my hands, and I can tell you everything about fitness, the body, muscles, nutrition …but book learning was never my thing.
My dad did Karate and introduced me to it at a young age. When I was 17 I joined a boxing club and also started teaching myself body building at home with a crate and cement blocks. My dad’s friend had some weights and when he saw how interested and passionate I was about body building he showed me how to group muscles and how to use weights.
I live in Itsoseng, also called the lionpark settlement, next to Cosmo. I built my own little shack Gym called “Rippa” and started training. At first the roof leaked and I had to replace it with wood – which still leaks – and I was able to get 2 pieces of gym equipment. For the past 5 years I have been helping train others in the community.
I met coach Claude a few years ago and he is really like a father to me. He has taught me so much about body building and thanks to him I won the ‘Chief of Cosmo’ Body Building competition in 2014. I taught myself how to pose by watching you tube videos and I work out and help at the A-team gym as well.
Perseverance and self discipline is what is needed to really make a success out of body building
jOSEPHINE EXUTIVE MEMBER
Nqobile Khumalo. I was born in Diepkloof Zone 6 and grew up in a family who was passionate about sports. My mom did provincial athletics and my stepdad did boxing. My brother was into body building.
At the age of 12 I would watch my brother train and I got into exercising as well from that early age.
When I was 24 I came across a poster advertising the Body Builder show in Soweto at the theater next to Jabulani Mall. I entered the competition in the ‘Strong Man’ category and won! It was here that I met Coach Claude who had a lot of experience and advice to offer.
He told me that I should be entering in the ‘Physique’ category, which is what I’ve been doing ever since, and I’ve won numerous competitions. I’ve been working with and alongside Coach for the past 4 years and learnt so much. I have a gym in Dobsonville Soweto where I train and help Coach here in Cosmo as well when he needs a set of extra hands.
For the last 6 years we’ve been working with the Hector Pieterson Primary School running fitness programs for the learners, and we are busy planning a beauty pageant for Mr and Miss Dobsonville. The focus of the pageant is on a healthy physique. When we first started running these pageants we realized there were girls struggling with bulimia and anorexia. Our focus is on a beautiful healthy body- not starving figures. We also have categories in aerobics and stage performance.
My big dream is to one day have the A-team gyms be a whole health complex – not just a gym, but a complex with drive through healthy foods, shops with supplements, a clothing brand etc. In 2015 I was blessed to be able to participate in the World Beauty Fitness and fashion world championships run by Paul Dillett in Las Vagas
is Moses. I am a freelance camera man, but my real passion is coaching soccer. In 2009 I noticed that there were so many kids roaming the streets in the informal settlements and squatter camps. I started coaching these youngsters in an attempt to get them off the street and on the right track through soccer and netball. There is a community hall in Bridgetown Northriding. We offer help with homework for the under 13 and under 15 team after school on Tuesday and Wednesday and the under 17 team on Wed, Thursday and Friday.
There are around 58 kids getting coached right now. A lot from Kya Sands area.
I ask Moses if he has seen a change in the kids since they joined the team
“ For sure, you can often see a real attitude change in the kids. They become a part of a team, they belong. The attitude changed and they start working hard at their school work too. It is so rewarding to see. There is such a danger of them falling in with the wrong crowd if they are left to roam around the streets….gangs, drugs, teenage pregnancy are all realities of this world that they are a part of.