Our Athletes

From Athlete Leader to Fitness Leader: Meet Banele

Banele laying on the ground in a gym doing chest presses.

Banele is an athlete, basketball and athletics coach with a passion for helping others stay fit, even during a pandemic.

Banele walking down stairs to a beach.

Banele sees that exercise has countless benefits, such as weight loss and muscle gain, better sleep, and more energy. He also believes exercise can help with disease prevention and increase immunity. But what he admires most is the fact that fitness can bring a boost in self-confidence and a new joy for life.

He is not only committed to his own personal fitness; he is now using his skills and knowledge to run a small community exercise club in his home town. He is working hard to support and encourage other athletes and community members to keep fit and stay healthy.

Banele is based in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. He has also become a Special Olympics athlete leader, serving as a member of the Athlete Input Council.

Banele’s dedicated to making sure people with intellectual disabilities—and everyone else—follow daily workout routines, even from home during COVID. He sees this as the path to self-improvement, inside and out. Because, as he says, when you look good, you feel good and when you feel good, you do good!

Lastly, he wants to remind his fellow athletes to remember to sanitize their hands after a workout—and wishes everyone their healthiest year yet!