Move for your Health

May Olympic fever ignite your desire to Move for your Health!

Kathleen Mc Quaide (Strategic, Marketing and Relationship Manager at SSISA; sport scientist)


Who isn’t inspired by our amazing South African Olympic athletes that made us glow with pride at their outstanding achievements?  What probably touched us all most – was the adversity many of them overcame to realise their dreams. Luvo Manyonga (our silver medallist long jumper), was in tears when interviewed on Carte Blanche as he shared his battle with drug addiction and told viewers to NEVER, EVER give up hope; our rower, Lawrence Brittain achieved silver having battled with cancer; Caster Semenya bravely took gold in the 800m and held her head high in spite of all the controversy and invasive media exposure; and of course Wayde van Niekerk – whose humility on breaking the 400m world record was truly amazing – in a feat that was quite astonishing! And we have the whole Paralympics ahead of us to inspire us throughout September!
landmarks-2015-lr-10Clearly if we put our minds to it – we can achieve what we want to and we can be healthier and fitter citizens. We have the power within to get us there and we also have the power to influence others to follow in our healthy footsteps. As part of our mission of improving the health and wellness of South Africans, the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA) works on many fun campaigns and initiatives with partners who share this vision.  Why not join us in taking up the challenge to “Move for your Health” for the next 7 weeks as we get you fighting fit for the “MySchool Move for our Health 6km walk/run” at the 2016 Landmarks event in Claremont, Cape Town on Sunday 30 October?  Move for your Health is a World Health Organisation global campaign which aims to decrease our risk of suffering from an array of lifestyle-related diseases that destroy both our lives and our economy! SSISA’s partners in this campaign include Western Province Cricket Club Running Section (WPCC), ADT, MySchool, Woolworths, UCT’s Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, the City of Cape Town, SANParks, the Community newspapers and Supersport’s Let’s Play.


As a means of encouraging learners to “Move for their Health” at the Landmark’s event, very generous prize money will be awarded to schools that have the highest number of entrants relative to the size of their school in the ADT/Woolworths Schools’ Mass Participation Competition. There are prizes for small and large schools, as well as one for a school new to the race that has the highest percentage of finishers.


This year’s Landmarks event, which includes a beautiful 21.1km route – will be run in honour of Chet Sainsbury who passed away in February ‘16.  “Chet was the Two Oceans Marathon race director for 27 years which in itself is remarkable and only one of his many accomplishments. However, what our running community will always remember him for, are his giant heart and his desire to have kids from different backgrounds running and having fun together.” said Ted Vickery, Club Chairman of the WPCC Running Section.


landmarks-2015-lr-14Aside from weekly training programmes for the 6km event – which are  published in the local Cape Community Newspapers and online at, we will have snippets of advice and insights from Dr Catherine Draper, of UCT’s Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, to help parents understand why and how kids should be physically active for physical, emotional, cognitive and educational benefits. This is critical practical advice in an age where life seems to steal time away from physical activity, and screens are ever at hand.


We will also give you the hot off the press ratings of our South African kids’ health as found in the soon to be launched 2016 Healthy Active Kids South Africa (HAKSA) report card. Spear-headed by Professor Vicki Lambert of UCT’s Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, South Africa is one of 39 countries globally involved in producing this advocacy document. Based on peer-reviewed published research in the preceding five years – the 34 scientists evaluate and grade indicators in our South African children. such as overall physical activity, levels of obesity and overweight, opportunities for organized sport participation and active play, as well as grades for government strategies and investments.

Parents out there – who are keen to raise healthy, active kids and are looking for immediate, professional advice and motivation – join Dr Catherine Draper at the SSISA on Monday 19 September at 18h00 for a comprehensive workshop. Check out SSISA website  to secure tickets and check out more details. Let’s grab our tackies, our friends, our teachers and our kids, and upgrade our health and lifestyles together.

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