UNITED States-based Zimbabwean long-distance runner Pardon Ndhlovu’s quest to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio received a major boost after recently partnering the Boston-based running clothing company, Janji.
Janji, which was founded by students on the cross-country team at Washington University in St Louis two years ago, is a socially-conscious running clothing company dedicated to fighting the global food and water crisis.
The company sells running shirts and shorts designed based on the flags of developing countries with part of the profit from each sale going toward charities based in that country.
Ndhlovu, who was on an athletics scholarship at University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNPC) before being appointed the cross country assistant coach at Georgia Regents University last year after completing his studies said he was delighted with the partnership.
“I am happy and beyond proud to announce that I have embarked on a partnership with Janji apparel as I chase my dreams for Rio 2016,” Ndhlovu said.
“As of today I am a proud representative of Janji running. Janji is an apparel company that recognized runner’s philanthropic ideals beyond race day.
“Through Janji’s high performance apparel, runners fund solutions and raise awareness for the global water crisis in a lasting and meaningful way. Rather than racing for a cause on just one day, Janji lets runners give back through their everyday training. The company help support clean water solutions around the world.
Every piece of Janji running apparel purchased provides clean water in countries around the world. Check out their website www.runjanji.com,” said Ndhlovu.
The Mabvuku-born said he was happy with the partnership with Janji as it allowed him to pursue his dream while also giving back to the less privileged.
“I would like to thank David Spandorfer (Janji co-founder) and Janji for this great opportunity to be part of this great cause. I know this is a first step to an exciting journey that we just started.
“There is no better feeling in the world than knowing that every mile you run pounding the pavement or every step you take on the trails, you are helping meet the needs of many people in the world that do not have access to clean water.
“More often we take for granted the little things in life, like water because they are easily accessible to us without realising that there are other parts of the world that would kill just to have a sip of clean water to quench their thirst. I am happy to be running for a greater cause than myself,” he said.
Ndhlovu must not only meet the qualifying standards for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games, but his time also needs to be in the top-three for him to represent the country at the global showpiece.
The A standard qualifying time for the Olympics is 2 hours 15 minutes while the B standard time is 2 hours 18 minutes.