MANDELA WALK AND RUN GOES VIRTUAL!

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South African President Nelson Mandela takes a 6 am walking along Park Lane, accompanied by his bodyguards, during a visit to London, July 1996. He is wearing a track suit in the South African national colours, with the Olympic logo on them. (Photo by Tom Stoddart/Getty Images)
South African President Nelson Mandela takes a 6 am walking along Park Lane, accompanied by his bodyguards, during a visit to London, July 1996. He is wearing a track suit in the South African national colours, with the Olympic logo on them. (Photo by Tom Stoddart/Getty Images)

The Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) and the Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts Culture and recreation (SACR) have taken the decision to make the annual Mandela Remembrance Walk and Run (MRWR) a completely virtual event this year.

The event, which honours and remembers the contribution of global human rights icon, NelsonMandela, was due to take place at the Union Buildings this Sunday, 5 December 2021, with areduced number of 1 000 physical participatnts.

In the wake of rising COVID infection numbers in Gauteng, however, organisers are urging all participants who have registered and who still wish to participate to do so virtually from wherever they are.

A small, private wreath laying ceremony will be held at the Union Buildings to mark the eighthanniversary of Madiba’s passing.

Participants who have registered and who still wish to take part in the Walk and Run, which is held toraise funds in support of the work of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, can still enter online for the 5kilometre walk or the 10- and 21-kilometre runs. “Given the current COVID situation and with a view to ensuring the safety of all event participants, wehave decided to encourage people to please participate virtually this year and to completely reduce the number of physical participants at the Union Buildings. We apologise for any inconvenience caused but have taken this decision on safety grounds and appeal to everyone for their understanding and continued support,” said Nelson Mandela Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Sello Hatang.

Entrants to the popular annual event have been received from as far afield as India, Kenya, Nigeria,Portugal, United States, Netherlands, Finland, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Guatemala andSudan.

“The Mandela Remembrance Walk and Run is an event we all look forward to eagerly on thecalendar and we were looking forward to gathering in numbers to celebrate Madiba’s massivecontribution in all our lives. But given the current spike in COVID numbers in Gauteng, we havedecided to ensure safety first and to protect and safeguard lives. We thank all those who haveregistered for the event and encourage everyone to still do so and join us safely in their ownsurroundings this year until we are in a position to gather again safely,” said Gauteng MEC for Sport,Art, Culture and Recreation, Mbali Hlophe.

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