South Coast ‘step out’ in support of Hospice

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Quintin van Jaarsveld

The community rallied behind South Coast Hospice in their inaugural family fun run, walk and cycle event in Uvongo on Human Rights Day.

Approximately 180 people from all walks of life participated in Monday’s 5km/10km event, which started at the Uvongo Pier and took participants along Lillicrona Boulevard and back.

Their support led to a Net income of R6148.30, which will go towards Hospice’s palliative patient care.

The South Coast Hospice event registration and food tent area.

The South Coast Hospice event registration and food tent area.

The event is the brainchild of Hospice fund-raising co-ordinator Bt King and was conceptualised last October, when she had to ‘step out of her comfort zone’ during a Palliative Home-Based Care Course at South Coast Hospice in order to learn how to assist terminally ill patients.

The idea, combined with King and her husband Darryl’s over 35 years of running and walking at South Coast Striders, resulted in Monday’s successful fundraiser.

At registration, the community had an opportunity to participate in the making of a ‘Heart in Memory of’ memorial banner.

CEO Diane van Dyk introduced the banner, which is set to become part of this annual event with new layers of memories to be added each year.

The memorial banner, which will grow with a new layer each year.

The memorial banner, which will grow with a new layer each year.

Michael Scheepers blessed the event with prayer before the briefing on rules on the road and Chariots of Fire played by King with a “Cock Crow” started the event.

“We were blessed with perfect weather for this kind of event and plenty of entries,” King told eHowzit.

“This included male and female adults, children, dogs, bicycles, barefoot runners, a lady who was recovering from a recent hip replacement, people on their journey with cancer, serious runners doing their last comrades training, walkers and family and friends who took part in memory of lost loved ones.

Michael Scheepers prays for the safety of the participants and the event.

Michael Scheepers prays for the safety of the participants and the event.

“We take this opportunity to thank everyone who was involved in this event, in whatever way, on the day, leading up to it, especially the local media who assisted in helping us advertise the event.

“Quintin from eHowzit, your advertising was exceptional and helped us to make this event the success that it was, and we look forward to it growing in the years to come. Your ongoing support and partnership with South Coast Hospice is very meaningful to us.

“Thanks to South Coast Striders members, Darryl, for everything you do for me, Martin’s Funeral Services, who supplied calendars, peaks, water and refreshments at the water table under their colourful gazebo and Jackie Koekemoer, who has many Comrades runs experience and knew just how to pamper the participants.

“Thanks to Ramona Coxen for organising through and with Jessica Henderson, the Principal of Remax By the Sea Margate, for their whole team to man the seconding station at Lucien, supplying their own water and refreshments, and sourcing goodie bag handouts in the form of pens from Betterlife Bond Originators and Durban regional manager Riaan du Toit.

“Thanks to all the sponsors and the team and volunteers of South Coast Hospice who manned the registration and the food stalls where the tummies were taken care of after the event. You guys and gals did a sterling job.”

Striders honour legend

Several Striders athletes participated in honour of Stephanie Markram, who passed away at the age of 71 on March 1 after battling cancer.

Markham, a 24-year member of the Uvongo-based club, ran the Comrades in 2000, won countless races and club titles in her age group and was inducted as a honourary member of the Striders at the beginning of the year.

“It was a great event to be a part of on a beautiful cool morning,” close friend of 30 years and Striders walker Ronel Viljoen told eHowzit.

“It felt special. We got to place photos of Stephanie and other lost loves ones on the board and walk in their memory…it was a fitting way to honour her and them.

“BT and the Hospice team really did a wonderful job. The goodie bags were lovely and worth much more than the entry fee.”

Japie Coetzee, Nadine Gertenbach, Anabelle Coetzee and Marcelle McLean.

Japie Coetzee, Nadine Gertenbach, Anabelle Coetzee and Marcelle McLean.

Deborah Berridge and blind runner Judy Smith also paid tribute to Markham, with Berridge wearing her Striders shorts, 2015 Two Oceans t-shirt, green socks and a white peak similar to the one Markram wore whilst running to honour her former clubmate.

“Stephanie was a great runner,” Berridge recalled. “I met her doing my 1st 21km run at the Lake Eland Creston Classic in 2008. I noticed her, as she was just ahead of me, wearing club colours and running well. She finished in about 2:36.

“The amazing thing was she finished Sani Stagger 21km down run in November 2014 in almost the same time. She had pain, not knowing she had cancer and still did an amazing time at the age of 70, winning her age category.

“On her travels, she would take her running kit and find a race to run, representing South Coast Striders all over the country.

“She was a great mom and teacher too. My daughter was in her class and came home and told me about the Afrikaans teacher she liked a lot.

“I met her daughters, one at her 70th birthday and the other at her 71st, and I met her son Frank recently when he came down over the last few months. He was also at one of my fun runs with his sister and twins.”

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