Thousands Enjoy EcoTrail Parkrun

Issued by Caterina Cannone, event organiser.

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who attended and supported the EcoTrail on Saturday 21 July 2018– making it so memorable and such a huge success again this year. The event gave our community the opportunity to support the Nelson Mandela 100 initiative as well as our uBambiswano community engagement programme.

Our new venue at Gillooly’s Farm, with parkrun, proved to be a wonderful collaboration, which will hopefully promote long-term fitness and wellness for our families, by encouraging you to participate in future parkruns – which are free to join every Saturday.

As an EcoSchool, it showed our support of our local park and birdlife, and hopefully inspired our participants to continue visiting the area and keeping it protected. The event also assisted the Puppy and Kitty Haven in their efforts to collect food and blankets for their shelter animals, after a devastating fire recently destroyed most of their supplies; and parkrunners donated new stationery items and takkies for uBambiswano children.

Thank you to all St Andrew’s School for Girls’ staff members, Senior School girl volunteers, and parkrun officials for their incredible support and hard work in ensuring that the event ran smoothly and efficiently, in particular: Chris Sutton from Gillooly’s parkrun, who kindly agreed to accommodate us at his Home Run, for all his administrative assistance in the registration of our participants, and for the steps he put in place to accommodate the increased number of participants on the day; Tracy de Kock and Phathekile Ndlovu for their tireless administration work in following-up with registrations and compiling lists of participants; Helenor Whitecross and her Finance team for capturing all the donations and payments; Annette dos Santos and her uBambiswano staff for coordinating their pupils’ attendance; Daniella Rossouw, Anna Surmon, Katherine Dalais and the Communications Task Team for the photographs and online marketing; Andrew Murray and his Estate team for arranging equipment and supplies at the venue; Jessica Braund for coordinating the Eco Task Team, the clean-up of the park, and the water bowls for the dogs; Bronwen Venkatasami for arranging the Junior School Eco Club and the assembly presentations;

Tara Nooy and Nomcebo Mabuza for arranging St John’s Ambulance and coordinating the First Aid Team; JD Mostert for leading the Pre-Walk and positioning the marshals; Zukiswa Stemele and Zama Madonsela for supervising the Boarders; Jonas Pilusa and his 24/7 Security team for providing security at the parking area and along the route; Hamilton Tshokwe and his team of Drivers for arranging the transport of the uBambiswano children, Boarders and staff; Tanya Gregory for coordinating with the Community Task Team girls; Colleen Patience and her team at Goldfield’s Kennel Club for arranging the parking area; Chris Boshoff for arranging the signage; Michelle Ross and her team at Creaky Tree for providing eats and refreshments after the event; and the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department for directing traffic.

Thank you, too, to Ivanka Acquisto, Lee Milner, Gill Jeffrey, Bev Smith, Maria Ndlovu, Alison Chambers, Barbara Heymann, Martina Markides, the Junior School Eco Club and the Senior School Eco Task Team for cleaning the route of any litter after the event; and Alison Ebell, Liz Jespersen, Carika Smith, Debby Walker, Marta Gaspar, Abigail Holden, Natasha Teixeira, Primrose Seepe, Jamie Croly, Karen Fisher, Trevor Whittle, Bev Van Niekerk, Kholu Kholopane and Lauren Ramsay for assisting with the Finish-Line duties.

There were a total of 2386 participants, unfortunately missing the world record of highest attendance at a parkrun by only 142 people! 1182 of the participants were from St Andrew’s School for Girls’ running club and 94 from uBambiswano, who were part of the 1382 first-timers who set a new world record for most first-timers at a parkrun event.

The donations received from St Andrew’s staff, parents, pupils, Old Girls and uBambiswano pupils raised an astounding amount of just over R180 000. Your donation will benefit uBambiswano by assisting in the funding of the programme, which includes the costs of transport, meals and tuition.

It was wonderful to see so many families enjoying the outdoors together, and the sense of community was very heart-warming.


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