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18 March 2021
SS4LS Alumni Run 100km for Charity

As an alumnus of the University of the Western Cape, a coach and a father, my life goal is to leave a legacy my family can be proud of and hopefully follow. Raising funds is simply the right thing for us to do, as we have been given the ability to make that kind of difference.

Why the 100km? I have always enjoyed the feeling of being out in the open, and running has always made this more fun for me. Those who played cricket alongside me would know long distance running was my main form of getting and staying fit throughout the long cricket season.

After my cricket career ended in 2016, the need for physical activity and, more so, the need to challenge my natural instincts to compete remained. I stumbled upon my good friend Angelo Adams’ (Avendale Cricket Club stalwart) Facebook post on completing his maiden Comrades Marathon in 2016, and remember us discussing the possibility of me doing this in future. I told him I needed two years - at least - to prepare for that. But Angelo knew what happens when the running bug bites. He responded to my two-year plan with: “See you at Comrades 2017.”

Three Comrades medals and over 20 marathons later (including three Two Oceans ultra marathons), I have embarked on something that is more than just another medal. Along with my good friends Angelo and Merlin Galant (both UWC SRES department alumni), we have decided to run with a purpose.

Angelo managed to get in touch with Rodney Brown, one of the committee members at the Hannah’s Place Of Safety (HPOS) home for babies. We agreed that we would take on the challenge of raising R30 000 to assist HPOS with their day-to-day costs and operations. It is only a drop in the bucket for them, but it is hopefully a gesture that will go a long way for those abandoned babies. So we are hoping to make a difference through doing what we enjoy doing.

We have almost completed 900km since the start of 2021 and will be taking on the challenge of completing 100km around the Cape Peninsula on Saturday 20 March 2021. It will definitely be a tough day, but we have prepared well and hope to get a lot more donations towards this very good cause.

Esmund van Wyk is a teacher, sports coach, father and former cricketer with a love for running long distances. He holds degrees and diplomas in Sport Recreation and Management and in Education from the University of the Western Cape, and is actively involved in the Sports Skills For Life (SS4L) project. And he believes in making a difference.