The Man with a Plan

Jozi Walked the Talk


Discovery 702 Walk
the Talk, Johannesburg,
22 July

Over 58 000 walkers dressed in light blue and 1 500
dogs took to the streets of Jozi in July to participate in the city’s biggest
mass participation event, the Discovery 702 Walk the Talk. Amongst the crowd
were a number of celebs and top government officials who also turned out for a
stroll, including
Miss South Africa Melinda Bam, Miss Teen South Africa Celeste Khumalo, Police
Minister Nathi Mthethwa and Speaker of Parliament, Max Sisulu.


The Walk the Talk is a must-do on the Gauteng calendar, one of the province’s best-loved events, with walkers of all ages
and sizes joining in the fun, from the serious competitors who took part in the
30km and 15km timed races, to the families who walked with dogs and prams in
the 8km and 5km fun walks. And many of them were dressed up in costumes to
ensure they stood out in the crowd in what is now affectionately called the ‘meeting
of the neighbours’ event.


“Walk the Talk is all about fun and family engagement,
traits that support our core purpose of making people healthier, and enhancing
and protecting their lives,” said Jody Foster, Discovery head of sponsorship. “It
is always inspiring to see people coming together from all walks of life to
join each other in a fun, feel-good activity,” adds Pheladi Gwangwa, station
manager at Talk Radio 702. “This year was no
different – we have been overwhelmed by the camaraderie and spirit of the
wonderful people of Joburg.”



There were even a few hardcore runners out for a walk:
“I used the 30km walk as part of my training for the Washie!” says Shaun
Naidoo. “I enjoyed the route, and I loved the atmosphere and fun vibe along the
course.” Another walker, Nomzobo Cuba, also took on the 30km route:
“I am quite fit as I’ve been running for more than two years, but at about
24km, I knew I was finished. But I was determined to complete the course, even
though my body was screaming so much by now. We approached the finish line and
that was the best feeling ever. It was amazing to think something so easy as
walking could be such an exciting and gruesome experience all at once!”


At the front end of the timed races, last year’s
winner, Lebogang Shange once again finished first in the men’s 30km in a time
of 2:34:44, while Sandra Steenkamp took the women’s title in 2:44:49. In the
15km, Lewis Moise won the men’s race in 1:10:45 and Susan Katrakazis won the
women’s event in 1:31:19.



As in previous years, R10 from every 5km and 8km entry
will go to charity and a portion of the proceeds will be presented to the
Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which uses sport as a tool to bring about
social change in a number of community projects. Many Laureus Ambassadors,
including Butch James, Lucas Radebe, Baby Jake Matlala and John Robbie took
part in the 8km fun walk. This year, the funds will go to the Johannesburg
Cubs, a talented cricket team from disadvantaged backgrounds who are coached not
only in the basics of the sport, but also taught valuable life skills.


The Discovery 702 Walk the Talk is also committed to
using some of the funds raised to create legacy projects in the areas directly
affected by the event. Last year, together with the Emmarentia Residents
Association, the event helped build a walkway across an ecologically sensitive
wetland area with proceeds from the event.