Thousands to honour Madiba at Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day

Thousands of sports fans will be taking to the streets in Tshwane by bicycle or on foot to honour the late Nelson Mandela at the 2014 Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day, which takes place at the Union Buildings on 22 November.

The Unite4Mandela event has been shared across various platforms using the hashtags #run4mandela and #ride4mandela, depicting the two sporting codes for this year’s event.

First held on 17 August 2013, the Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day brought together 52,000 spectators at the FNB Stadium to witness Bafana Bafana play Burkina Faso and the Springboks play Argentina at the same stadium on the same day.

This year, the focus has been on participation as the Unite 2.0 campaign, an initiative of Sport and Recreation South Africa and the Department of Arts and Culture, has turned to athletics (running and walking) and cycling as the key catalysts to drive nation building and social mobilisation on this momentous occasion. The two sporting codes have amongst them the largest number of professional and recreational participants.

The Unite 2.0 campaign promotes social cohesion, nation building, patriotism and world peace utilising the power of sport and arts as a tool for nation building and social mobilisation.

Cycling SA President, William Newman, said: “The Cycling Federation is extremely proud to be a partner of the Nelson Mandela Sports and Culture Day. Last year over 50000 people supported two of our national teams in a soccer and rugby match. This year we all have a chance to actively be part of history. The 67km cycle that starts at Loftus Versfeld stadium and ends at the historic Union Buildings will bring together thousands of South Africans as we unite for Mandela. Being involved in such a prestigious event is a massive honour for Cycling South Africa and it further illustrates the high esteem in which our Federation is held.”