Sunday 4 November, the streets of Claremont were awash with bright green T-shirts as nearly 2000 runners ran with their hearts. They were participating in the Woolworths Move for your Health 6km run/walk in proud association with SANParks which formed part of the Landmarks event, with a beautiful half-marathon. Bussed in from several of Cape Town’s under-resourced areas – many of these children had never participated in an event of this magnitude. Their smiling faces and joy of participating in a fun event, sporting their own race T-shirt, receiving a shiny medal and a healthy meal pack – told a story.
The Move for Health campaign aligns with the global World Health Organisation Movement to get people more physically active and so reduce the burden of chronic disease. Professor Vicki Lambert from UCT’s Health through Physical Activity, Lifestyle and Sport (HPALS) Research unit, who chairs the global movement Ägita Mundo” which translates into “Get the World active” participated in the event. She encouragingly described the campaign and event as “terrific and well-run, with so much fun for the children.” She added “This forms part of 1 840 Move for Health events taking place around the world!”
The Move for your Health campaign, developed by the Sports Science Institute of SA (SSISA), focuses predominantly on children and is completely reliant on a series of partnerships. The secret to the success of this campaign. is that a range of companies, media and organisations realize the value of collaborating so as to make a difference in children’s lives and to raise the awareness of the need to create more opportunities for kids to be physically active, in safe and fun environments; as well as guided to make healthy choices. Race Director of the Landmarks event and a key role player at Western Province Cricket Club (WPCC) – running Division, Ted Vickery is highly supportive of the Move for Health initiative and the resultant School’s Mass Participation competition that plays out on the day.
Mr Pieter Twine – GM of the Woolworths and MySchool Fundraising programme who also enthusiastically ran the 6km event with his son elaborates on their seven year involvement with this event. ”With the Woolworths focus on healthier lifestyles, the Woolworths Educational programme has been running for 15 years. It provides curriculum based nutrition and exercise in primary schools and so encourages children to live healthier and to be more active. The Move for Health 6km run/walk and our Health track are examples of how Woolworths support children exercising”.
Other partners included Futurelife, SANParks, Claremont Rotary and MySchool. Amplification of the health messages and training programmes was provided by the Community newspapers, Supersport’s Let’s Play and Smile FM.
Says a glowing Dr Phatho Zondi, SSISA’s CEO having run the 6km event, “The Move For Health campaign is strongly aligned to SSISA’s core philosophy so it’s a great privilege to be able to bring various communities together to mark this initiative each year. This year we celebrate “personal best” – being better today than you were yesterday, and we encourage all South Africans to take on the challenge to live their healthiest and best lives.”
Whilst the main focus of the Landmarks event is the 21.1km and the 6km event, there was much else on offer. Springfield Covent High School’s Interact group, led by their teacher Ms Bea Smit, entertained all with a vibey 10 girl Marimba band and 20 girls to transform little runners into spiderman, princesses and tigers with their face-painting skills. One of the volunteers, Grace Hammond, in Grade 11 at Springfield Convent School really enjoyed the experience and says “spending an hour with the children was definitely worth the early wake up on a Sunday! The children were polite, friendly and an absolute joy to be with. It was an honour to get to meet and interact with them and we can’t wait to do it again soon”.
Keep an eye out for news of the winners of the 2018 School’s Mass Participation competition as well as for pictures of our visit to the Red Cross Children’s hospital where thousands of toys donated by runners with big hearts, will be handed over. We have no doubt that if we can keep up this momentum and positive behaviour in Cape Town – there can be a ripple effect far beyond our borders – and our overall score in the 2018 Healthy Active Kids SA (HAKSA) report card will improve.
With no challenge too big for this team of enthusiastic race organisers and collaborations – watch this space for next year’s exciting and novel initiatives. How wonderful if this campaign grew legs and was adopted by other clubs, corporates and institutions around SA! Now that would be an amazing story to tell!
Of course – there are 10 months to go before we kick off our 2019 campaign – so about 300 days to fill with whatever sorts of physical activity you enjoy – be it parkruns –forest and mountain hikes – playing Frisbee on the beach or tag-rugby in the neighbourhood park. We don’t mind – so long as you are looking after your health.
Springfield Convent High School Marimba band
Left to right: Kira Dean, Emma Vergunst, Juliet Morris, Robyn-Anne Hyslop
Springfield Convent High School Interact group
Left to right: Fiona Sheehy, Caitlyn De Mink, Ms Bea Smit (our teacher in charge), Leah De Bruin
Kuyakhanya Primary School, Crossroads, Nyanga – one of SSISA Community Health Intervention programme schools
Elsies River – OptiFit Outreach – one of SSISA Community Health Intervention programme groups
Impendulo Primary School – Khayeltisha – they had 82 participants. These kids had the time of their lives and their Deputy principal accompanied them.
Dr Phatho Zondi (SSISA CEO) and Prof Vicki Lambert (UCT) at the finish
By Kathleen Mc Quaide (Sports Scientist and Strategic, Media and Sponsorship Manager, SSISA)