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South Coast Hospice joins Comrades Marathon family

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Hospice South Africa is one of three new charities chosen to be part of the Comrades Amabeadibeadi charity drive for the next three years.

The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) at the launch of the 2018 race recently announced that Hospice, The Childhood Cancer Foundation SA (CHOC) and Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust will join the Community Chests of Pietermaritzburg and Durban, Wildlands Conservation Trust and World Vision SA as the beneficiary charities of the Comrades Marathon.

CMA Vice Chair, Cheryl Winn said, “We are delighted to welcome our new charities and we appeal to all Comrades entrants to select the Official Charity closest to their heart and commit to running for a cause greater than themselves.

“Through the Amabeadibeadi Charity Drive, the CMA has created the opportunity to give back and improve the social and environmental landscape in South Africa. It is our intention that we benefit the communities in which we operate and add value to the sport of athletics.”

The launch was attended by Diane van Dyk and Ronel Fitchet from South Coast Hospice and HPCA representative Zodwa Sithole on behalf of Dr Liz Gwyther.

Van Dyk commented: “Listening to the humble words of Comrades Marathon winner 2017, South African runner, Bongmusa Mthembu, I was deeply moved by his sincerity of how important his support team was and how, at the 60km mark, when all his physical reserves had been spent he dug down deep and relied on ‘mind over matter’ to cross the finish line.

“It got me thinking about the similarities between the journey of every Comrades runner and the journey that our patients take on their ‘Ultimate Human Race’.

“We at Hospice take care of the living and in the spirit of this 93rd Comrades Marathon, we recognise what a privilege it is to join together and embrace the 2018 Comrades Marathon slogan Asijiki (no turning back).

“We have ‘qualified’ to ‘run the race’ and there is much to do. Once the Memorandum of Understanding is signed, the preparation will begin.”

Van Dyk added South Coast Hospice is proud to be part of the Comrades Marathon and to support runners James Shishuba and Xolani Mbhele (pictured) for the 2018 race.

South Coast Hospice fund-raising co-ordinator BT King said, “The news that Hospice Palliative Care Association South Africa has been nominated as one of the Comrades Marathon beneficiaries is so exciting for all Hospices in South Africa!

“As a nominated beneficiary for the next three years, every Hospice has a golden opportunity to fly our Palliative Care flags high, bringing to attention the importance of Quality Palliative Care services to our patients and the support given to family members.

“The Comrades Marathon – The Ultimate Human Race, is a wonderful symbol to the world of the very best of human kind, working together to reach the ‘Finish Line.’”

The 93rd running of the world’s biggest and oldest ultra-marathon will be a down run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban on Sunday, 10 June 2018. For details on the race, visit www.comrades.com.

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