The annual Makana Green Fun Run is a fun 6km run or 2km walk through Grahamstown. The event is a great and enjoyable time for all with a very serious aim, promoting sustainability in the town and on campus. Luyanda Mahlinza reports on this year’s Fun Run that took place on the 15th of March.
Hundreds of people participated in the annual Makana Green Fun Run held at the Rhodes University Drotsdy Lawns. Excitement was in the air as Rhodes students, pupils from various high schools and primary schools, business owners, members of the elderly community, moms, dads and even their dogs got ready to run the six-kilometre race or walk the two kilometre walk—while having some fun along the way.
The event was organised by community stakeholders together with Rhodes University’s Environmental Committee and was a fun way of getting some exercise while simultaneously promoting sustainability in the town and around campus. This took the form of tree-planting and environmental sustainability awareness talks, as well as encouraging the adoption of more sustainable lifestyles by residents and students.
One of the ways this was encouraged was through efforts of the horticultural society and their development of Spekboom. This involved awarding the runners with a ‘portulacaria afra’ or a small “spekboom” in a cup after their run and encouraging them to plant it to continue its growth, the environmental metaphor of a baton it seemed.
Heather Surridge, chair of the Horticultural Society, believes it is important to encourage the production and improvement of the vegetation that surrounds us in Grahamstown. “[This was] a great and fun way to do it is right here at the Makana Green Fun Run” said Surridge,”It’s always great to see kids leaving their nice and clean Ipads at home and getting dirty with some plants.”
Along the path leading to arch, one could see plenty of stalls offering treats, food and refreshments, and prizes all linked to the general aim of environmental awareness. The Health and Sport Incorporation were also there to provide information about physical wellness and also provided massages and medical attention to the runners.
ICS(International Citizen Service), Lattitude, a global programme focused on peer education and training, raising awareness of issues such as food and water hygiene as well as resource development, manned a stall at the event. Team leaders, Ruth and Sydney, from the UK were excited to spread awareness of their global organisation at the Makana Green Fun Run. “We have conducted door to door questionnaires in the wider community of Grahamstown and 250 homes in the township, to establish their knowledge of personal, environmental and food hygiene,” said Sidney.
The diverse presence of members of Grahamstown at this event illustrated a unified harmony. A large amount of Rhodes students also took part in this affair and showed their support towards this very necessary cause.
Tessa Ware, the 2015 Rhodes University Student Representative Council International councillor was present, leading by example by taking part in the 2km walk. “We need to walk the talk and if we expect Rhodents to get involved and consider this a worthy initiative, the SRC needs to be the example” said Ware.
Participants were encouraged to dress up in outfits that promoted environmental sustainability. This was embraced wholeheartedly as groups arrived in a variety of creative outfits which ranged from newspaper dresses to green flowers. The winning group for “Best Outfit” was Walker House residence. Their spirit and enthusiasm for the cause is one to be appreciated and followed.
At the end of the day, as Deputy Vice Chancellor, Dr Chrissie Boughey, handed out awards to the all the winners, the ideals and vision of the Green Fund were truly echoed on the Drotsdy Lawns. Collective effort had been made to reduce our carbon footprint and contribute to the wellness and sustainability of our environment. The goal was to support the Vice Chancellor’s Green Fund that has been established to reduce the ecological footprint of Rhodes University and improve environmental sustainability in Grahamstown. As chanted by the Amina Cachalia team, winners of the most represented Rhodes res group, “You may wear green once a year but let’s be green every day”.
1st Overall runner
2nd place overall
1st Female Overall runner
1st Peewee runner
1st Male Minnie Me
1st Female Minnie me
Sasha van der Merwe
1st Male Junior
Devinto Du Plessis
1st Female Junior
1st Female Veteran
1st Male Veteran
1st Female Masters
1st Male Masters