The time is now - The Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day beckons!

The 2014 Unite 2.0 campaign, an initiative of the Department of Sport & Recreation South Africa and the Department of Arts and Culture, will this year include Athletics (road running and walking) and Cycling - the two sporting codes which have amongst the largest number of professional and recreational participants - and the day will have on the offer the biggest prize money of any event this year, with over R2m in prizes to be handed out.

As if thats not enough, the public will be treated to a free mega feast when a cultural program full of 67 artists ranging from craftsmen/women, artisans to musicians and comedians unites the nation in remembrance of Madiba.

On the 22nd of November South Africans will unite for the Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day, and both amateur and professional athletes from around South Africa will compete in a number of different events in remembrance of Mandela.

They will be joined on the day by a host of #Unite4Mandela ambassadors including a number of Comrades winners like the legendary Bruce Fordyce, Ironman and 1991 Comrades winner Nick Bester, 2012 winner Ludwick Mamabolo and this years champion Bongmusa Mthembu.

Not to be outdone, cycling will be represented by the likes of world-class cyclists Daryl Impey, Chris Froome and Cherise Stander.

And there will be dozens of other well known sports stars from all codes, TV personalities, politicians, comedians and musicians, competing alongside their fellow South Africans for this worthy cause.

 
Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr Fikile Mbalula; Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa and Mr Gideon Sam, President of SASCOC address media at a UNITE 2.0 press conference held at the SASCOC Olympic House on Monday 17 November.

Minister of Sport and Recreation, Mr Fikile Mbalula; Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa and Mr Gideon Sam, President of SASCOC address media at a UNITE 2.0 press conference held at the SASCOC Olympic House on Monday 17 November.

 

Prizes

And if competing for this wonderful cause wasnt enough, there are some unbelievable cash prizes for competitors on the day, with more R2 million on offer.

The 67km cycling race winners, in both male and female categories, will receive an unprecedented R250 000; second-placed riders will receive R150 000, while third-place riders will pocket R100 000. The main running event is the 27km road race, and the winners of the race will pocket R150 000, with second getting R100 000 and third R50 000. The winner of the 9.4km run will receive R40 000, while the 9.4km walk winner will get R20 000.

There will be cash prizes for the top ten competitors in the two main events, and there will also be prizes for the top three in the 9.4km running/walking event, and also prizes given in a number of different age groups.

Race Times

Cycling starts from Loftus Stadium at 06h00 and finishes at Union Buildings. The 27km run starts at 06h30 from Union Buildings, while the 9.4km race starts at 06h45 from Union Buildings; the 5km Fun Walk will start at 07h00 from Union Buildings.

Our Time Is Now

Preceding the big day, students from a number of learning institutions will gather at the UNISA Main Campus on the 18th of November for a Colloquium with the theme of Our time is now. These students, who represent Generation 2.0, will participate in reviewing the past 20 years of our democracy, and celebrate the many successes South Africa has seen.

They will explore nation building, social cohesion and other issues that effect Generation 2.0, and also look at how they can make things even better in the future.

The Colloquium will be held in the ZK Matthews Great Hall on the 18th of November between 18h00 and 20h00.

Arts and Culture Programme

Of course the Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day is not only about the athletes, and on the 22nd, after the races, a concert will be held on the South Lawns of the Union Buildings.

Speaking about the Arts and Culture program, Minister Nathi Mthethwa said: “The Department of Arts & Culture has been delegated with the special responsibility to lead and coordinate programs on nation building and social cohesion.

We believe that this event contributes to this significant initiative to uphold the legacy and promote the values of late former president and international icon, Tat’ uNelson Mandela.

As Arts & Culture, we are privileged for this leadership role and appreciate our partnership with Sports & Recreation.”

After the medals are handed out, dignitaries such as the honourable Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will address the nation, before the star-studded entertainment begins.

The concert promises something for everyone with as emcees Lupi Ngcayisa, Tall Ass Mo and Celeste Ntuli will present artists like Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lira, the Parlatones, Kurt Darren, the Mahotella Queens, Zakes Bantwini, Sbongile Khumalo, AKA, Beatenberg, Sifiso Ncwane, Naima Mclean, Phuzekhemisi, Zahara, Karen Zoid, Desmond and the Tutus, Zandile Mzazi, Supreme I Crew, Botlhale, Kryptonite, Gcina Mhlope, Di Tswina Tsa Ngwao and Mzwake Mbuli.

It truly is a united ensemble of some of the countrys brightest talents.

Race Pack Collection Points

Competitors can collect their race packs between the 19th and 21st of November, either at the Pilditch Stadium in Tshwane, or at the Johannesburg Stadium.

Registration

Runners (and walkers) need to register before November 17th; however, early registration is best as registration may close earlier if capacity is reached before.

Registration costs R70 for the 27km event, R50 for the 9.4km race and R40 for the Fun Walk.

Cycling registration costs R250 and entries also close on 17 November 2014.

All competitors can register on the website (www.unite4mandela.co.za) and also find all relevant information for the process on the site. If anything is confusing, please check the frequently asked questions - www.unite4mandela.co.za/faq.php