The 24th October 2019 marked the third annual campaign of the Kids Fun Walk Against Obesity. The fun walk is an annual event where children gathered at Katlehong Art-Centre and walked to Huntersfield Stadium. The distance was 4.4 Kilometres. On that day, elders were welcomed to join the team of marshals for the event, to make sure participants are safe during the walk.
Pro-Excel, powered by Panthers Netball Club has since 2017, taken a stand, inviting local primary schools in Katlehong to raise awareness against child obesity by engaging in physical activity. For this year, five schools participated namely: Matsediso Primary, Ntuthuko Primary, Intokozo Primary, Ekurhuleni School for the Deaf and Phumelela Primary.
Child obesity continues to be a disturbing factor the South African community. The recent national survey reads that 14.2% of children in primary schools are overweight. The World Obesity Federation (WOF), the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa ( HSF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) together with the South African Department of Health are working on ending obesity. Government, private sector, NGO’s, parents and caregivers are called forward to join hands and act against obesity.
Fast foods/ unhealthy foods are the known to be the primary cause of obesity, added with physical inactivity especially in schools. Consequences of obesity in childhood include cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance (sign of impending diabetes), some cancers and disability. It is a serious concern that developing countries hold the highest rank in child obesity.
Mpho Tolo, the event organiser stated that school children are now becoming familiar with the concept of the event and always look forward to it. She further mentioned that, after this year’s event, they will work on getting participants to play some sports when they get to the stadium.
“Pro-excel aims to get children active through introducing physical activity and helping them lead a healthy lifestyle,” said Sharon Tolo.
Tolo, the event director extended her most heartfelt gratitude to everyone who contributed towards making the event a success. She also mentioned that participants enjoy this initiative, which drives the success of the project.
“There are multiple opportunities for growth and expansion of this project around Gauteng.”
Sharon and Mpho worked together to deliver this magnificent event, expressing joy and fulfilment of seeing it happen now for the 3rd time annually.