Johannesburg – July, 25, 2012
50,000 dedicated charity walkers have been joined by Laureus Academy Members and Ambassadors at the annual Walk the Talk event in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The eight kilometre charity walk is South Africa’s largest mass participation event and since its beginnings has come to be seen as a great opportunity for families to enjoy Johannesburg by foot.
This year Laureus Academy Member Morene du plessis, who is also the Chairman of the Laureus sport for Good Foundation in South Africa, was taking part along with a host of Laureus Ambassadors. These included Leeds United football legend Lucas Radebe, Desiree Ellis, Baby Jake Matlala, John Robbie, Cynthia Tshaka and Springbok rugby star Butch James.
Proceeds from the Walk the Talk event directly go toward South African Laureus Sport for Good Foundation supported projects and this year the beneficiary is the Johannesburg Cubs project.
The day proved to be a great opportunity for the Laureus Ambassadors, and the many walkers, to get a better insight into how Laureus-supported sports project really work.
Joining leaders and participants from the Jo’burg Cubs at the event, youngsters from two other Johannesburg-based projects, Fight with Insight and Sport for All, were there to show off some of what they do on a daily basis. The Sport for All project held a soccer match at the Discovery Football Fever pitch and also displayed various volley ball warm ups, drills and games, whilst the Fight With Insight project ran ‘boxercise’ sessions and pad work on their mobile boxing gym.
Famous for his rugby talent, du Plessis also demonstrated his skills on the boxing bags while Radebe had a go on the pads. But being such a passionate footballer, Radebe, along with South African women’s football star Ellis found themselves drawn to the football pitch as well where they were later joined by Butch James.
The sight of seeing James taking up a football challenge was a thrilling one for the youngsters present, but it was clear he remains a rugby player through and through. Unconfirmed reports from the day indicate he frequently kicked the football way above the net in his attempts at goal.
The Jo’burg Cubs project uses cricket to help bring children from poorer families together with those from wealthier backgrounds to help combat social segregation.
And one of the young people to benefit from the project is Shaylin, who, thanks in part to the access to cricket the project has given him, has now become a member of the South African under-19 cricket team. And talking to Laureus.com before the event, he said: “I came from a disadvantaged background and [the project] gives you more opportunities and you just don’t get these opportunities in youe home areas
“I think the interaction between the advantaged and disadvantaged is important because it gives people the chance to look at the townships and people without many opportunities and to see they are surviving and the amount of talent [that exists] in these places.”