Young and old from across the province gathered at the Polokwane Rugby Field early Sunday morning to participate in the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture’s seventh annual Big Walk.
The event offered participants the chance to take on the 5, 10 or 15 km walk and every participant received a medal for their efforts.
However, the healthy fun did not end with the walk and continued throughout the morning with aerobics sessions for everyone as well as face painting and a jumping castle for the children.
Leading by example was Sport, Arts and Culture MEC Thandi Moraka who took the 15 km challenge in her stride and then proceeded to lead the aerobics class with much enthusiasm.
Speaking to Polokwane Observer shortly after she completed her walk, Moraka said keeping fit by means of brisk walking was very energising. “It is a wonderful family activity and the health benefits are untold,” she added.
Sport, Arts and Culture Communications Director Kola Maila explained that the programme was initially prompted by the ever increasing number of obesity and high incidence of heart attack among people of the province. “We have had a wonderful turnout and everyone is enjoying themselves and improving their health simultaneously,” he said.
He further thanked everyone involved the making the day such an enormous success.
The ‘BIG WALK’ Programme, established by the National Department of Sport and Recreation is implemented in all nine provinces on the same day and time. The programme is suitable for all, rich and poor, disabled persons, young and old and has no financial implications. The main aim of the programme is to promote social cohesion and nation building and furthermore to encourage people to take up the habit of walking on a regular basis and as a conscious choice in leisure time activities. The programme was prompted by the ever increasing occurrence of obesity and the high incidence of heart attacks amongst citizens. Walking is an effective form of physical activity for improving the cardio-vascular system, that is the heart, blood vessels and lungs.
Story and photos: KAREN VENTER