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Posted May 17, 2016 by myjoburg in My Joburg

The modern lifestyle is typically clouded with schedules and technology, and obesity is driving the rapid development of diet-related illnesses. These include diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure to name a few. According to the World Health Organisation, the obesity rate is increasing amongst the wealthy and the poor populations across Africa, with 27% of adults over the age of 20 being overweight and 8% classified as obese.


Obstacle Course Training (OCT) aims to provide a worthy athletic outlet that understands the modern lifestyle while building family relationships, a community, and a society that cares for each other. In many races, there is an encouragement for participants to support and help one another; for example, the Legion events have no time limit and the start includes an oath that encourages participants to work together to overcome obstacles and achieve success.


Rudi and Lesley Delport opened Obstacle Course Training (OCT) South at the beginning of 2016. Rudi Delport, Managing Director of the Obstacle Course Training South, says that he has seen major growth in Obstacle Course Racing (OCR) World Championships. He adds that “OCR was rated the fastest growing sport in 2015 in the world, yet there are people still unfamiliar with it. South Africa has definitely taken off with a great start in 2016, with more and more facilities like OCT South opening and even more events taking place this year.”


The course encourages healthier living, with participants as young as 10-years old competing.  “It has been encouraging to see the young and old set a great example for healthy living. The sport has beginners, intermediates, and advanced elite athletes. We are seeing an increased level of involvement due to the exciting and enjoyable factor of getting fit and healthy. There are even categories where families enter together as a team and overcome obstacles together,” says Delport.


Teams at OCT South go on to participate in big events such as the Jeep Warrior Race. The recent 2016 Jeep Warrior Race saw a number of OCT South sponsored athletes placed in the top 10 of their respective categories, an excellent achievement when considering the number of athletes participating in each race.


  • Ricardo Rebelo: 1st Place Rookie Elite (Sponsored OCT South athlete)
  • Chante Habib: 2nd Place Rookie Elite ladies (Oct South student)
  • Leonie Van Zyl:  3rd Place Rookie Elite ladies (Sponsored OCT South athlete)
  • Marius Smith: 6th Place Black Ops Elite — main event (Sponsored OCT South athlete)
  • Nadine Millar: 8th Place Commando Elite (Sponsored OCT South athlete)


The sport promotes both a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle, and assists participants in taking the load off their personal lives and using that energy to focus on and overcome each obstacle on their way. Ricardo Rebelo, who took first place at the Jeep Warrior Race, says: “My journey in OCR has changed my life around. It has boosted my self-confidence and shown what ability I have. It also helped me face day-to-day challenges in life in a positive way. The only advice I have for other aspiring athletes is to go out, have fun and never say I can’t!!! Anything is possible when you apply yourself.”


“I decided to try OCR in May 2014 after I had a very traumatic time that year. My life was falling apart but OCR put everything together for me. Still to this day, I race with 01-02-2014 on my left arm…as a reminder of what I’ve been through and that I will be stronger than what broke me,” says Leonie van Zyl, another sponsored athlete at OCT South. “I personally believe that athletes are not born, but made, seeing that I never did any sport at all and that I have chronic asthma too. In January this year, I had a Laparotomy but once again OCR kept me positive as it’s a very big part of me when I’m going through tough times.” Jurie Fourie further adds that OCR has changed his life and way of thinking. “Obstacles I face during races I compare to those in life that I have to overcome. I love what I do and therefore encourage others to get up and make the change. You are never too old or too young to make that difference.”


Lesley Delport, who is also a trainer at OCT South, concludes by saying: “The way I see it is that we are all facing obstacles in our day to day lives. What this teaches you is how to approach these obstacles (Around, over, through or under it), either way, you fall, so there is no difference. It is how you pick yourself up and accomplish these obstacles that determine the real warrior in you. OCR is the best and fun way of fitness development. When you look in the mirror, what you see right there is your toughest competition.”



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One Comment


    Fantastic article and fun way to get off the couch :)

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