First book about non-racial athletics, Other side of the track, released

OTHER side of the track, the first book about non-racial athletics, has been released during the festive season.

See the details below of how to receive your personal copy of the book.

Other side of the Track celebrates the many achievements of athletes during South Africa’s period of apartheid and sports isolation. This book is the culmination of a unique project, which was started in June 2015 and comprises an engaging website ( and a vibrant ‘Athletics Clipboard’ Facebook community. The aim is to give recognition to the many athletes who competed during apartheid, and those who made the transition to democracy at the top of their game, but were denied the opportunity to compete on the international sports stage. It also recognises the sports administrators, journalists, photographers, schools, teachers, parents and communities, who all worked tirelessly to support and promote the athletes with limited resources. Very little has been written or documented about this part of South Africa’s history. The book and website, therefore, serve as a historic record or archive of athletics during the apartheid years – a valuable resource that will ensure our talented athletes are not forgotten by future generations.


Clement du Plessis is a former high school teacher, journalist and journalism lecturer.

He also had a 12-month stint as acting director of communications at the Department of Minerals and Energy in 2004. He has worked at most of the Cape newspapers on a part-time basis and briefly on a full-time basis at Independent Newspapers Cape.

Du Plessis is a former Western Province athlete. He captained the Western Provinces Colleges athletics team in 1985 and 1987. He represented the South African Teacher Training Colleges Sports Association in 1986. He was also the SATTCSA delegate at the South African Amateur Athletic Board’s annual general meetings. After his athletics career in 1987, he served on the executive of the Western Province Amateur Athletic Union.  Du Plessis was also a WP selector, served on the WP secretariat and was a coach on the Western Province team.

As a young Physical Teacher at Mondale High School, he contributed to the success of the school in the highly competitive Western Province Senior Schools Sports Union A-Section and Champion of Champions athletics meetings in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

He did not participate in any of the ‘sports unity’ talks between 1988-1994 and did not serve on any of the new athletics structures to date.

He is a trained teacher after completing a fourth-year diploma (part-time) at the Hewat Training College in 1993.

Du Plessis graduated with a B.A. degree (part-time) at the University of the Western Cape in 1998. In 2001, he graduated with a Master of Philosophy degree (distance learning in journalism) at the University of Stellenbosch.

  • All the text in this book was written by Clement du Plessis except where indicated.

To read more about the history of non-racial athletics and a collection of stories about the number of star athletes you can do the following to receive your personal copy.

  • We can arrange to courier the book, for the buyer’s account or you can collect the book should you live in Cape Town. See contact below.


Postnet to Postnet in South Africa.

Courier service of 1 book to 3 books is R99 plus bubble wrap at R11 per metre (per book).

Courier service for 4 books is R119 (bubble wrap is R44 for the 4 books).


Aramex. This courier service resides in Pick and Pay.

Courier service for 4 books is R100 plus one metre of bubble wrap at R11 per book.



Pep Stores to Pep Stores in South Africa.

Courier service costs R100 plus R11 for bubble wrap.

To receive your personal copy of the book kindly please pay via EFT (R650):

Bank: ABSA

Account name: ZEBRA

Account number: 4102355565

Branch code: 632005

Swift code for overseas buyers: ABSAJJZA

Reference: Your full names

Thereafter we can arrange for the book(s) to be sent by courier to you.

Contact: 082 896 1636, thanks.

* The cost of having books sent by courier overseas is prohibitive.

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