page 243 - Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_243.jpg]

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NMPP-PC-NMPP-PC-2012/14-chapter 8-243

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Long Walk Original Manuscript [LWOM_243.jpg]

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  • 1976 - (Creation)

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page

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1 page

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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When the club broke up Skipper was either in his late 20s or early 30s. Now the gymn was run by younger men in their early 20s and they did far better than I expected. We trained from Mondays to Thursdays for one and a half hours a night except on special occasions when we were preparing for a fight or tournament. We would then extend the time to two or two and a half hours. The training programme varied from day to day. Some days we skipped for about 30 minutes and did exercises. Other days we skipped and shadow boxed and sparred.

Each member was given the opportunity to be in charge of the training programme on certain nights and develop leadership, initiative and self confidence. Things used to be a bit tough for me whenever my son was in charge. He was quick to point out any mistakes I made and when ever I slowed down my pace due to exhaustion. Everybody in the gymn called me "Chief", a form of address he scrupulously avoided and used instead "Mister Mandela", or, when he wanted to be gently, "my Bra". But often he would say :"Mister Mandela, please don't waste our time. If you can't cope, remain with the old women at home" a gibe everyone would enjoy. Our membership fluctuated between 20 and 30 but in winter, when the globes became particularly painful, the numbers would dwindle to less than ten, rising again when summer returned.

Like most African gymns our was poorly equipped. It had a cement floor which was quite dangerous when a boxer was knocked down in sparring. We could not afford a ring, nor more than one punching bag and a handful of pairs of gloves. Only Jerry and one or two others had a head guard and we had no medicine or speed balls at all, no qualified masseurs, proper boxing trunks and

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