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Beautiful News

Beautiful News

Guest : Riyaad Avontuur

Riyaad Avontuur has been clean for 390 days and counting. But it’s been a long journey
to get here. When he got involved with the wrong crowd and started using drugs, life
became increasingly difficult. Avontuur spent 10 years in and out of rehabs and missed
out on being there for his family. Recovery isn’t instant. This time, Avontuur needed to
fill the days of sobriety with positive intent. He took up running alongside his daughter –
an activity that’s given both Avontuur and his community in Bonteheuwel a head start to
Every time Avontuur and his daughter ventured out for a sprint, children would
approach them: "Uncle, can we come run with you?" he recalls them asking. Avontuur
realised the kids needed to occupy themselves and keep away from negative
influences. “There's so much more in my community beyond drugs and crime,” he says.
By approaching principals in nearby schools, Avontuur gathered learners who were
interested in athletics and eager to have someone coach them. Earlier this year, he
began the Bonteheuwel Central Athletic Club with just two members. It’s now grown to
over 60 children chasing their purpose.
Running the club has guided Avontuur away from his old vices, and towards a position
of leadership. His past has shown him how easy it is to veer off track. But it’s also taught
him it’s possible to move on, no matter where you come from. “I finally feel that I can
contribute something,” he says. Avontuur is turning each step of his recovery into great
strides, both for himself and the kids of Bonteheuwel.

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