Marga’s excellent throw of 64,31 m at the track and field meet of Athletics Central North West on 23 February in Potchefstroom means that she is the best woman hammer thrower this country has delivered to date.


Both Alan (25) and Marga (22) are teachers and completed their BEd degrees at the Vanderbijlpark Campus.


Alan also completed an honours degree and is currently enrolled for a diploma at the NWU Business School. Marga is busy with her honours in special needs education. Alan teaches at Driehoek High School in Vanderbijlpark and Marga at AJ Jacobs Primary School in Sasolburg.


Encouraging each other


Although they do not compete against one another, they are still in competition.


“I think there will always be competition between a brother and a sister who take part in the same sport. We encourage each other and try to get the other one to do better. Yes, there is competition, but not for achieving specific distances. We look at our personal bests and how many times a day we can achieve better distances,” explains Alan.


“We motivate and encourage one another, and we help each other,” says Marga. “My brother always helps me with my hammers before a competition. He checks them and then does it again to make sure everything is in order. It is lovely to be able to share this with him.”


According to Marga, the way ahead has only one track: “This is a day-to-day situation for me – practise every day and in the end do my best to be the best hammer thrower that I can be.”


Alan adds: “We practise as hard as we can and try to do everything we can to improve our distances.”


Side by side, metre for metre, brother and sister, it is in their blood.




They are definitely not two peas in a pod, but when it comes to hammer throwing, there is not much to choose between them.


Brother-and-sister duo Marga and Alan Cumming proved this unequivocally when both walked away with gold in hammer throwing at the recent South African Senior Athletics Championships.


Champions! The brother-and-sister duo of Marga and Alan Cumming bring out the best in each other. Both are teachers, while also studying at the NWU. Marga is busy with an honours degree in special needs education, while Alan is enrolled for a diploma at the NWU Business School.

is in their blood


Trained by a legend


Hammer throwing champions and brother-and-sister duo Marga and Alan Cumming are being trained by the legendary hammer thrower Chris Harmse. This is a privilege that they both appreciate.


“Chris took us under his wing and he helps us tremendously, not only in the sport itself, but also in our personal life,” says Alan.


“It is lovely to have him on our side. He has so much experience and knowledge that he can share with us. He has been successful for many years, and has the recipe for winning.”


Marga agrees that it is a very great honour and privilege to be able to practise with him.


“What is wonderful is that he cares for one’s emotional health. Yes, it is about the sport and the ability to perform, to be the best that you can, but reaching that also involves your emotional well-being.”