Piet Boelens loopt ultramarathon in Zuid-Afrika voor kansarme kinderen


KOLLUMERZWAAG – Het moet de mooiste marathon ter wereld zijn, de Two Oceans Run in Zuid-Afrika. In tegenstelling tot gewone marathons is deze niet 42 kilometer, maar deze telt maar liefst 56 kilometer en leidt de loper van de Atlantische Oceaan naar de Indische Oceaan. Piet Boelens uit Kollumerzwaag loopt deze ultramarathon op 30 maart aanstaande voor Run4Schools, een organisatie die in de sloppenwijken van Zuid-Afrika toekomst biedt voor kansarme jongeren door middel van het aanbieden van sportonderwijs.

De fysiotherapeut Boelens is een ervaren hardloper. Twee keer ging hij naar New York om daar de marathon te gaan lopen voor KiKa. De eerste keer liep hij de marathon, de tweede keer gooide de orkaan Sandy roet in het eten. ‘Toen de marathon werd afgelast heb ik daar heel even van gebaald. Maar binnen een minuut ging er een knop om en toen dacht ik: ‘als we hier nu toch zijn kunnen we ook wel helpen’.’

In totaal haalde Boelens met zijn marathons al 42.000 euro op voor KiKa. Voor Run4Schools zit hij in korte tijd ook al op een mooi bedrag, maar het komt nog lang niet in de buurt van het bedrag dat hij al voor KiKa ophaalde. In totaal hoopt Boelens samen met zijn medelopers 56.000 euro op te halen, het bedrag dat nodig is voor een nieuw schoolgebouw in de sloppenwijken van Kaapstad.

‘We zullen in Kaapstad ook een bezoek brengen aan de sloppenwijken om met eigen ogen te zien wat voor werk er verzet wordt voor de jongeren. Run4Schools financiert in naschoolse sportopvang in de sloppenwijken van Kaapstad. Kansarme jongeren worden na school opgevangen en sporten onder begeleiding van coaches. Zo hebben ze plezier met andere kinderen, krijgen ze zelfvertrouwen en blijven ze uit handen van jeugdbendes. Op dit moment is Run4Schools actief op vier scholen in Kaapstad. Wij hopen met de bouw van het nieuwe schoolgebouw nog meer jongeren een toekomstperspectief te bieden. Bovendien wordt de plaatselijke economie ook gestimuleerd, want de bouw wordt, onder leiding van een Nederlandse projectleider, uitgevoerd door lokale aannemers.’

Boelens verwacht dat het bezoek aan de sloppenwijken een flinke indruk op hem zal maken. ‘Het is toch anders dan wanneer je het op televisie ziet.’

Boelens voelt zich gedreven om wat voor een ander te doen uit dankbaarheid. ‘Ik heb een verleden met herseninfarcten. Ik ben bijzonder dankbaar dat ik nog wat kan doen voor een ander en dat doe ik dan ook graag.’

De Two Oceans Run is niet de enige bijzondere marathon die Boelens in de planning heeft. In het najaar gaat hij opnieuw naar New York om daar de marathon te lopen voor KiKa.

De reis naar Zuid-Afrika financiert Boelens helemaal zelf, elke sponsoring gaat regelrecht naar Run4Schools. Boelens zoekt nog sponsoren om de financiering van de school rond te krijgen. Kijk op www.run2oceans4schools.nl en zoek op runner Piet Boelens in het oranje shirt. Via deze website is het mogelijk om Boelens te sponsoren. Een rechtstreekse donatie kan via banknummer: 3019662 ten name van P. Boelens Kollumerzwaag onder vermelding van Run4Schools.

Boelens vertrekt op woensdag 27 maart naar Zuid-Afrika.



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