Children get moving for health

Pupils from Imizamo Yethu-based iKhaya le Thembas after school programme took part in the 6km fun run/walk at WPCC on Sunday. Picture: Buntu Gotywa

On Sunday November 3, more than 3 000 runners gathered at the Western Province Cricket Club (WPCC), standing together with the shared goal to move for their health.  

If you were out and about in Claremont on Sunday morning you would have seen a flurry of blue T-shirts running through the streets with more than 2 000 people running the Landmarks Half Marathon and about 1 000 people running the Woolworths/MySchool Move for Health 6km Fun Run/Walk in association with SANParks.

The Move for Health campaign aligns with the global World Health Organisation initiative to get people more physically active and reduce the burden of chronic disease.

The six-week campaign leading up to the 6km run was developed by the Sports Science Institute of SA (SSISA).

The success of this campaign was thanks to a range of companies, media and organisations realising the value of collaborating to make a difference in children’s lives and to raise the awareness of the need to create more opportunities for children to be physically active, in safe and fun environments; as well as guided to make healthy choices.

Says Kathleen McQuaide, the strategic, media and sponsorship manager at the SSISA: “As a nation celebrating our victory of the Rugby World Cup on Saturday – the ‘gees’ at our event was tangible and just another example of how positively lives can be affected when partners join hands to make a difference. We are clearly #StrongerTogether.

“A special shout out to Woolworths, MySchool and the Cape Community Newspapers for their ongoing support and involvement.”

Phathokuhle Zondi, the CEO of SSISA, shared her feelings about the Move for Health campaign and the 6km fun run.

“I am very pleased with the success of the day’s activities as it’s not just a once-off intervention, but the successful implementation of a number of events and interventions that SSISA continues to roll out in communities.

“We remain committed to community-building and are excited to continue to make a meaningful impact on the lives of South Africans.”

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo gave an encouraging message at the start of the 6km and then ran alongside the children.

“The kids have to learn the habits of a healthy lifestyle as early as possible,” she said.

She explained to the runners how regular exercise helps to prevent and delay the onset of chronic disease. “So let’s do it for the kids and let’s move for health.”

To ensure children and adults from all backgrounds had the opportunity to participate in the fun run, Claremont Rotary sponsored nine buses, making for a wonderful and spirited day.

Pieter Twine, the general manager of the Woolworths Education and MySchool Programmes, who also enthusiastically ran the 6km, elaborates on the 10th year of the Woolworths and MySchool Move for Health initiative: “Woolworths is well-known for healthy food and also for the Woolworths Making the Difference Programme in schools.

“Our focus is to teach children about healthy food choices and the importance of being active.

“Today we witnessed how children enjoy being active when given the right opportunities.

“Many participated in both the 6km run and the Health Track which engaged both their minds and bodies.”

For the past 10 years, Cape Community Newspapers (CCN), which publishes this paper and its 14 sister titles, has been the print media partner of the Move for Health campaign. “As a stable of community newspapers, our 15 titles reach nearly 700 000 households every week and so we’re thrilled to be able to help deliver valuable lessons about health and well-being to our readers, encouraging them to move for their health,” said editor Chantel Erfort.