27 For Freedom Festival Celebrates Madiba Centenary
The Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and Avbob hosted the Madiba Centenary Boxing Challenge on Friday, 9 February 2018. This was followed by the 27 km, 10 km and 5 km Fun Runs on Saturday, 10 February 2018 at the historic Drakenstein Correctional Centre (formally known as Victor Vester Prison) in Paarl.
The festival honours the legacy of Nelson Mandela as he dedicated his life to freedom and spent 27 years in jail for the freedom of all South Africans.
Hylton Jumaats, the area co-ordinator for development and care, welcomed the referees and participants from various boxing clubs in the Cape Winelands area to the boxing challenge. “In celebration of Nelson Mandela’s Centenary and his life, we are hosting this boxing challenge in his honour, as he was also an avid boxer” said Jumaats. Boxers from seven teams participated in the following categories: Cadets, Juniors, Youth, Females and Elite. Boxers gave it their all during the challenge.
Anroux Marais (Minister of DCAS) kicked off the 27 km race on 10 February by shooting the starting gun. The Minister wished all the participants well for the race and personally congratulated the female winner of the 10km race, 37-year old Nomvuyisi Seti. She completed the race with an impressive time of 00:39:55.
The 27 km route symbolises the 27 years Madiba spent in prison. Runners and walkers walked/ran along the same route that was taken by Madiba as he left prison, from Madiba House, along the Long Walk to Freedom, to the Madiba Statue at the entrance of the Correctional facility. The race this year marked the 28th anniversary of the historic release of President Nelson Mandela from the prison.
Rosaline Wolmarans from DCAS said that the department played a major role in getting people from the surrounding communities to the event, including getting school children to the venue to take part. “Tata Madiba always had a special place in his heart for children and sport and that is exactly what DCAS supports through their commitment and involvement in the event.” said Rosaline.
Young and old, seasoned runners and beginners took part in the races on the day to celebrate former President Nelson Mandela. After the race the community was treated to a free concert on the sports field.
DCAS supports sporting festivals across the province. We encourage everyone to get involved and attend these events in order to grow sport in the Western Cape BETTER TOGETHER.