MONDALE High School dominated the Western Province Senior Schools Sports Union’s (WPSSSU) A-Section and Champion of Champions like no other at the Athlone Stadium, Cape Town, during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Mondale was a young up-and-coming high school in Portland, Mitchell’s Plain.
The school team’s success was born out of about 120 athletes, meticulously selected and trained in the dunes at the back of the school.
Two aspects of the Mitchell’s Plain school – winning the A-Section and the matric results – put the school on the map.
The school was founded in July of 1982.
Mondale derived its name from MONtague and MerryDALE roads, bordering the school.
It lived up to its motto Monte Dessus (soar upwards) and its creed; train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
In no time, Mondale had become the flagship school in the area both academically and in sport.
Culturally, the school held many concerts and was the forerunner of the carnival, the school’s key fundraiser, in the area.
The school had the won the Cape Argus school quiz on several occasions.
Mondale won the Champion of Champions after competing in the B-Section in 1987.
Thereafter, there was no looking back for a number of years as Mondale went on to dominate the A-Section and Champ of Champs at the Athlone Stadium.
The 800 pupils or so and the cheerleaders in the stand were neatly attired as were the athletes each parading like champions in their tracksuits.
On the opposite side, on the grassy embankment, of where the school usually sat, were supporting teachers who pitched a gazebo for restless athletes.
By 9 o’clock in the morning, the crack of the gun signalled the start of the boys open 5000m race.
By the time the relays started in the late afternoon, celebrations were in order.
What happened next was like clockwork. Smooth . . .