Kayamandi parkrun started in September 2017. Its route starts and finishes at the foot of Enkanini informal settlement, gifting participants with some of the best views in the Winelands.
Something one cannot fail to notice is the pluck and courage it takes many of our local young runners to join the parkrun – many of these children come from very poor households and run in whatever they have, be that flip flops, gumboots, slippers … and sometimes barefoot.
A small band of early volunteers went about organising running shoes for the children. Some gathered second-hand takkies; others found additional running gear like socks, t-shirts and shorts. Even though volunteers come and go, the number of children continues to grow, as does the momentum for this ‘plakkies for takkies’ drive.
Recently, a family visiting their homeland of the Netherlands returned with more than 60 pairs of pre-loved shoes, which they somehow managed to share amongst their individual baggage allowances! Many of these takkies have already found proud new owners.
Volunteers try hard to distribute these gifts in a fair and responsible manner, insisting that the children first register with parkrun (some volunteers give up a lot of time to assist in this regard, processing details and laminating each child’s card).
We also try to encourage the children to grow in their self-reliance by remembering to bring their own barcodes each week. No barcode – no time – no shoes! But it’s very hard to say ‘no’ when there is such an obvious need, and ours is far from a perfect system.
The children are amazingly patient and resilient… and we are truly grateful to everyone who’s donated shoes and running gear so far, and that handful of dedicated volunteers who work hard behind the scenes to help the children of Kayamandi.
Many adults also struggle with registration and lack of running kit – so we also accept donations for adults.
Lives are being changed at Kayamandi parkrun. We appreciate your help from the bottom of our hearts. PLEASE KEEP THE SHOES & RUNNING GEAR COMING…
This newsletter’s volunteer heroine is Madz Loots. Madz is married to Jacques and has three children. She has run 159 parkruns and has volunteered in numerous roles over 150 times. She was originally a Kimberley parkrunner and Kimberley is her home run. Now she is one of our most energetic and enthusiastic ambassadors working…
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