THABAZIMBI – Determination, strength and commitment are all qualities you will find in South African sportsmen and women. They are also qualities that unite HIV/Aids sufferers in the battle against the disease.
It is in this spirit that the annual Sport Heroes Walk Against HIV and Aids (SHWAA) which uses sport as a tool to change people’s lives, has continued to gain momentum. Starting in Diepsloot on 15 November, this year’s Sport Heroes will walk a total of 1751 kilometres from Diepsloot to Thohoyandou over 17 days to spread the message in the fight against HIV/AIDS, to help eradicate the stigma associated with HIV/Aids, and to drive education and awareness about the disease.
On Tuesday 17 November at 12:00 the team will be arriving in Thabazimbi. The Mayor will be meeting them as they enter the town on the Bela-Bela road, whereafter coaching clinics at Regorogile Sportsground for all sporting codes will be conducted.
Handing over the baton from the 2008 team, this year’s 10-person team consists of South African marathon athlete, Willie Mtolo; 2010 Ambassador, Desiree Ellis; Banyana Banyana Player who plies her trade in America, Veronica Phewa four-time world boxing champion Baby Jake Matlala, former soccer player Bruce Ramokadi, Women African Footballer of the year Noko Motlou, first black South African woman to summit Mt Kilimanjaro Evelina Tshabalala, Former World boxing Champion “hands of Stone” Lihlohonolo Ledwaba; former national women’s cricket vice- captain, Darleen Terblanche; SABC Sport Presenter and Laureus Ambassador, Cynthia Tshaka.
During their walk, the team will conduct sport clinics, donate funds and sporting equipment by the Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa.
The objectives of the project are to use sport as a tool to change people’s lives. Sport heroes hold a special place in our society and, therefore, community can emulate their skills even the type of life they lead. AIDS-related diseases in Africa continue to be a leading cause of death. The absence of an inoculation calls for other intervention, hence the project showcases how sport can change the lives of everyone.