Be inspired to start moving for your health…

Whether youre a seasoned runner or novice, everyone is encouraged to take part in the MySchool Move for our Health 6km walk/run in Claremont, on Sunday October 30.

Who isn’t inspired by our amazing South African Olympic athletes who made us glow with pride with their outstanding achievements?

What probably touched us all most was the adversity many of them overcame to realise their dreams.

Luvo Manyonga, our silver medallist long jumper, was in tears when interviewed on Carte Blanche as he shared his battle with drug addiction and told viewers to never, ever, give up hope; our rower, Lawrence Brittain achieved silver having battled with cancer; Caster Semenya bravely took gold in the 800m and held her head high in spite of all the controversy and invasive media exposure; and of course there was Wayde van Niekerk – whose humility on breaking the 400m world record was truly amazing – in a feat that was quite astonishing. And we have the whole Paralympics ahead of us to inspire us throughout September.

Clearly if we put our minds to it – we can achieve what we want to and we can be healthier and fitter citizens.

We have the power within to get us there and we also have the power to influence others to follow in our healthy footsteps.

As part of our mission of improving the health and wellness of South Africans, the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA) works on many fun campaigns and initiatives with partners who share this vision.

Why not join us in taking up the challenge to “Move for your Health” for the next seven weeks as we get you fighting fit for the “MySchool Move for our Health 6km walk/run” at the 2016 Landmarks event in Claremont, on Sunday October 30.

Move for your Health is a World Health Organisation global campaign which aims to decrease our risk of suffering from an array of lifestyle-related diseases which destroy both our lives and our economy.

As a means of encouraging learners to “Move for their Health” at the Landmark’s event, very generous prize money will be awarded to schools that have the highest number of entrants relative to the size of their school in the ADT/Woolworths Schools’ Mass Participation Competition. There are prizes for small and large schools, as well as one for a school new to the race that has the highest percentage of finishers.

This year’s Landmarks event, which includes a beautiful 21.1km route, will be run in honour of Chet Sainsbury who passed away in February.

“Chet was the Two Oceans Marathon race director for 27 years which in itself is remarkable and only one of his many accomplishments.

“However, our running community will always remember him for his giant heart and his desire to have kids from different backgrounds running and having fun together,.” said Ted Vickery, club chairman of the WPCC Running Section.

Aside from weekly training programmes for the 6km event – which will be published in Athlone News and online at www.ssisa.com, we will have snippets of advice and insights from Dr Catherine Draper, of UCT’s Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, to help parents understand why and how kids should be physically active for physical, emotional, cognitive and educational benefits.

This is critical practical advice in an age where life seems to steal time away from physical activity, and screens are ever at hand.

We will also give you the hot off the press ratings of our South African kids’ health as found in the soon to be launched 2016 Healthy Active Kids South Africa (HAKSA) report card. Spear-headed by Professor Vicki Lambert of UCT’s Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, South Africa is one of 39 countries globally involved in producing this advocacy document.

Based on peer-reviewed published research in the preceding five years – the 34 scientists evaluate and grade indicators in our South African children, such as overall physical activity, levels of obesity and overweight, opportunities for organised sport participation and active play, as well as grades for government strategies and investments.

Parents who are keen to raise healthy, active kids and are looking for immediate, professional advice and motivation can join Dr Draper at the SSISA on Monday September 19, at 6pm, for a comprehensive workshop.

Visit www.ssisa.com to secure tickets and check out more information. Let’s grab our takkies, our friends, our teachers and our kids, and upgrade our health and lifestyles together.

* Kathleen McQuaide is the strategic, marketing and relationship manager at the Newlands-based Sports Science Institute of South Africa.