Peace and Sport … unlikely bedfellows, or are they?
Irrespective of age, background or social standing or even whether you consider yourself ‘sporty’, very few of us will ever forget Saturday, 24 June 1995.
In front of capacity crowds at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park Stadium and millions of television viewers around the world, Francois Pienaar held aloft the Webb Ellis Trophy declaring South Africa the Rugby World Champions and the country went mad! In a new-born post-apartheid era, amidst the teething and growing pains of a young democracy, irrespective of race or colour or creed –brother stood with brother, and for one heartfelt and truly memorable afternoon, South Africa stood as one!
“The ability of sport to unify and connect not only a nation, but the world, is witnessed many times over in any year and in many sporting disciplines,” says Elana Meyer, Ambassador for the Cape Town Marathon and South African Olympic medalist and repeat record-holder in long distance running. Across every sporting genre, men and women meet on equal footing in a quest, not only for personal achievement and glory, but with an opportunity for participants and spectators alike to witness and be inspired by the human spirit striving to be the very best it can be; at times amid immeasurable physical and mental tests.
And it is this very sentiment that lies at the heart of this year’s Cape Town Marathon. Taking place on Sunday, 21 September 2014, the Cape Town Marathon aims to compete in the world arena as an iconic City Marathon and to be the leading African City Marathon recognised as one of the world’s majors. A sustainable event that is all-inclusive, providing a truly African experience – with a core focus on PEACE.
In keeping with this, not only will the weekend’s festivities include a dedicated Peace 10km, but organisers of the Cape Town Marathon are pleased to announce the recent activation of an international PEACE and SPORT partnership.
Under the High Patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, PEACE and Sport – the biggest peace charity in the world, has been appointed as one of Cape Town Marathon’s official charities. In addition to promoting the event as part of their international race calendar and throughout their extensive international network, PEACE and SPORT have also undertaken to send a number of their CHAMPIONS for PEACE ambassadors in support of this year’s event. PEACE and Sport ambassadors.
“It is a perfect fit,” says Meyer. “Not only is PEACE and Sport the largest charity of its kind in the world, but many of their beneficiary initiatives are focused on Africa.” With the Cape Town Marathon striving to be the leading African City Marathon, it is a natural synergy and one that enables the Cape Town Marathon to live its core objective of promoting peace through the unifying spirit of sport and creating an event fostering sustainability on a broader scale.
With its mantra of ‘Building Sustainable Peace through Sport. Together’, PEACE and SPORT strongly advocates for the ability that sport has to enable communities to put aside their differences and contribute to shaping a more unified and peaceful world, concerned with preserving the dignity of all. “Sport has a unique and irreplaceable capacity to unite people, going far beyond ethnic, religious or social differences. I am convinced that sport can be at the long-term service of peace,” says Prince Albert.
An exhilarating festival of running, the Cape Town Marathon will bring together a range of runners from elite athletes to social joggers and community teams. While the classic Olympian 42.2km marathon will take centre stage, weekend activities will also include a PEACE 10km, a PEACE fun run, adventurous trail runs and a team-building relay race, thus ensuring something for everyone and the opportunity for all to experience Cape Town as never seen before.
The 42.2km Cape Town Marathon will provide runners with a unique, car-free experience of the City’s stunning natural and cultural attractions such as views of the Table Mountain, Devils Peak, the 12 Apostles, the Atlantic Seaboard and Table Bay; the icons of the City of Cape Town including the Castle of Good Hope, the City Hall, Parliament, Company Gardens, St Georges Cathedral, Green Market Square, the Chambers, the Cape Town Stadium and the V&A Waterfront. It is an ideal route for serious athletes wanting to experience the true essence of Cape Town and for first-timers who want to finish their inaugural marathon in style, it is truly reflective of a Cape Town experience.
To register online and for further detail, please visit www.capetownmarathon.com.
To contribute to The Cape Town Marathon’s Peace Initiative, please visit http://www.capetownmarathon.com/charities/
We look forward to seeing you in September.