In South Africa trail running provides many opportunities for adults but rarely caters for kids. One Heart develops kids in trail running and instils a love for sport and for the environment. Our aim is to see our children and youth discover the joy of running at grassroots level.

Our purpose is to inspire every young person to believe that he or she can conquer any trial: to help them realise that it’s not about performance, but about enjoying the sport as well as owning a healthy body and a sound mind. In One Heart, we believe that all children can run and every child’s personal goals can be reached. We have seen that children can overcome personal obstacles in their lives by finishing a race, whether they come first or last. Furthermore, for every race they run, children get to learn how to read.

Proceeds from our trail running events go for internationally renowned, CAPS aligned, SA Department of Education endorsed Key Links curriculum for SA schools. One Heart children can discover for themselves the beauty and excitement of running, reading and leading.

Developing healthy habits starts at a young age. Let’s help children discover the joy of running and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle as early as possible!


Matthew Kruger

Matthew is our marketing manager and our running youth-leader, with a great heart to see communities uplifted and potential discovered through youth development.

Latest Runs:

Bastille 2016 25km
3rd place Category finish

1st Place overall in Lourensford Senecio 2016 10km trail

Spur Winter Trail Series
3rd place Category finish

Cornel Smuts

Cornel is a teacher and a coach at a local school in Stellenbosch. He's also an avid trail runner and his passion is to combine these talents to enable children to develop and grow through sport and education. He teaches and leads with great passion and commitment.

Latest runs:


Silvermine Mountain Challenge, 1st mixed teams


Otter Trail run



Niel Swanepoel

Niel is an avid trail runner, with a heart for education and improving the lives of children. Niel is also a local entrepreneur who is passionate about uplifting communities and taking strides in education and in helping children reach their full potential.


Latest runs:


Table Mountain Challenge, 3rd male


Dryland Traverse Stage race, 2nd mixed teams


Silvermine  Mountain Trail Run, 1st team

Johan Sym

Johan is a pastor, teacher and social worker. Johan has experience working with children in schools as a counsellor and mentor as well as working with adults within their home environment in a training capacity. Together with his wife Edna, this couple serve their local communities through ministry, facilitation and tending to both the emotional and spiritual health of  relational areas in families.

Lisa Thompson-Smeddle

Founder/Director of the Sustainable Development Network and One Heart for Kids. She has over 25 years’ experience in the NGO sector in South Africa. She has managed a variety of programmes for the UNDP;  DANIDA;  Cordaid; the Sustainability Institute; Stellenbosch University; the SA National Department of Human Settlements, SA provincial and local government authorities, the Hanns Seidel Foundation, Peace Parks Foundation,  the University of California Berkeley and more. She has recently been on contract as a sustainability advisor to Family Health International, an Umbrella Grants Mechanism managing a $90 million USAID PEPFAR grant. 

One Heart for Kids is a programme within the Sustainable Development Network, a USA and RSA registered non-profit company.​ The SDN provides a space for NGOs, government, and professionals to network and access information and research in sustainable development, health, welfare and in the education and training sectors. The SDN promotes projects and lifestyles that will ensure that our children and their children will be able to sustain themselves now and in the future.

The SDN hosts the following programmes and platforms: 

  1. Networking – enables NGOs access to workshops, conferences, information and other networks working together toward common sustainable development goals. The SDN provides relevant workshops, training and mentoring programmes to assist in meeting these capacity needs.

  2. African Sustainability Academy - The African Sustainability Academy runs research and applied research projects and offers capacity building and training programmes for non-profits,  government and corporates.

  3. One Heart


One Heart is registered as a Non-Profit Company in South Africa, and as a 501c3 Company in the USA.
USA Non-Profit (501c3) Number: 7357522

South Africa NPC: K2011/122880/08

© 2016 designed by RESOUND MUSIC and MKC