- The City of Cape Town recently launched its first inter-departmental fitness challenge.
- The fittest metro police, law enforcement, traffic and VIP services staff competed against a toparchy of firefighters in a series of grueling physical exercises.
- Milnerton-state firefighter Alno Kroon, who is no stranger to these competitions, set the fastest time of the day.
- GOSPEL DAYS BACK! News24 celebrates the people restored to our country. Read their stories here
If he’s not lifting weights, you’ll find Cape Town firefighter Alno Kroon very fit, swimming, running or cycling. because “everything is basically an exercise”. Kroon, who has a background in rugby, describes fitness as a “lifestyle”.
He earned bragging rights for completing the inaugural City of Cape Town inter-departmental challenge (obviously an obstacle course) in the fastest time – while wearing full performance gear, including a fully charged spiritual gear that added 23.6 kg.
Members of the fire and rescue service have long maintained an annual tradition of physical challenges, testing members while also ensuring that fitness levels meet the standard required to perform extreme tasks.
As part of a wider strategy to prioritize health, wellness and fitness within the Directorate of Safety and Security, Cape Town defenders were joined by members of other businesses for a physical assessment challenge on Friday, March 24.
Five teams of the best fit police, law enforcement, traffic and VIP services staff members entered the Goodwood fire station arena competing against the home team.
SPECIAL PROJECT | I meet some good people while traveling this country
“A few years ago, we had a fitness and well-being plan that emphasized exercise, gym and exercise as part of the daily routine, and required staff to exercise multiple times a week as part of their shift,” the city said. member of the mayor’s committee for health and safety JP Smith told News24.
The carpenter added;
Let them expand. Find physical training instructors to support staff. As the ball is rolling and everyone around her is excited, this is the first opportunity for an inter-departmental challenge. This will just happen with awards and prizes. We really try to encourage the staff to have fun and get it in a competitive environment and in the process, fit and healthy.
Competitors had to complete six challenges during the course. This included stepping on and off the platform 30 times while carrying 20kg, pulling the tractor tire 27m and pulling the remaining line a further 15m. Participants also extend an aluminum ladder, lift a 35kg drum, carry two foam drums weighing 25kg each for 25m, and a 6kg sledgehammer to hit a helmet, simulating a force entry exercise.
The fear before and the pain after were the hardest
It took 30-year-old Kroon just two minutes and 38 seconds to complete the course, setting the fastest time of the day.
But he is no stranger to these kinds of physical competition.
In the most recent round of South Africa’s Toughest Firefighter Alive (TFA) challenge held in Mossel Bay in September 2022, Kroon competed against the country’s best, finishing fourth, missing a spot on the podium by only a second. Kroon’s physical strength also saw him represent South Africa in Saudi Arabia at the Aramco TFA competition in November 2022, when he challenged for gold in personal protective equipment (PPE) attire.
Kroon, who has been with the Cape Town fire and rescue service for 10 years and is stationed in Milnerton, finds time on quieter days to use the station’s gym facilities.
“We are very particular about our training facilities, which we use frequently. [I train] because it is a way of life [and] basically every exercise is there, I enjoy it,” Kroon told News24.
“The hardest part [of the inter-departmental fitness challenge] The nerves started before the race and the pain was after. That pain afterwards…it’s something where you go into another zone where the pain is in your lungs [and] the whole body [with an] elevated heart rate,” he said.