Rewarded for healthy living

Mfana Metuso, Kelvin Hillman, Jeremy Raphael, and teacher Lutfie Mohamed with Baron van Gussling, in front, from Ottery Youth Care and Education Centre, took first place in the Move for Your Health schools mass participation programme.

Up until race day, Jeremy Raphael, 17, didn’t have a clue what he was getting himself into but he was determined to be the first across the finish line in the 6km Move for Your Health fun run held in Newlands earlier this month.

Jeremy, a pupil at Ottery Youth Care and Education Centre in Ottery, led his team to a first place finish for schools with an enrolment of fewer than 400, in the mass participation component of the event.

For their efforts, they won R6 000.

As proof of their commitment to getting their pupils active and moving for their health, this is not the first time the school has won this award. They also won it in 2016 and the year before. The Move for your Health event, organised by the Sports Science Institute of SA (SSISA) attracted a large number of pupils to the school’s mass participation contest.

A total of 10 schools took part in the Move for Your Health campaign, with schools that had a large number of pupils taking part getting cash prizes.

The health campaign, which has been running for 15 years, is especially focused on children’s physical exercise as well as encouraging them to make healthy life choices.

For the past eight years, Athlone News and its sister papers have partnered with the campaign, publishing a series of SSISA articles, aimed at improving training methods, healthy eating and overall lifestyle upgrades.

Jeremy says it was the first time he took part in the campaign and would like to encourage more young people to take note of such events. “It’s my first time running such a long race but I made sure that I finished first.

“It was very nice and it’s something that I definitely want to do again. Running is actually very good for your body and mind and more young guys should take part in such events,” he said.

Mfana Metuso, who came third, says running keeps his mind fresh and there was the added motivation of taking part in the event with his schoolmates, as a group.

Ottery Youth Care and Education Centre academic head, Lutfie Mohamed says the Move for Your Health campaign is a special event for his school.

“It’s good money that we won for our school but this is more about getting the kids active and healthy.

“The money will be used for our sport equipment and that will also encourage more kids to take part in the programme in the coming years.”