When Caxton Johannesburg North and Spar gave 300 pairs of running shoes to children in Alexandra, they gave the youngsters more than just protection for their feet while running.
Matthew Choshi, the principal of Realogile Secondary School, explained upon receiving the shoes on 29 November that many children at the school come from difficult backgrounds, and the quality shoes will give them pride and self-confidence.
“The township suffers socio-economic challenges,” he said. “Some children don’t have money for nice shoes. Our sports facilities are not great but this will motivate the children to play sport, and will make them feel valued and inspired.”
The handover was the third of its kind in as many years, and forms part of the #RaceUpWithCare initiative and Drop Off a Pair and Show You Care campaign. Caxton and Spar staff facilitated the handover, along with running aces René Kalmer and Mapaseka Makhanya.
“The beauty of running is all you need is a pair of running shoes, so giving back now, we hope to see more learners at next year’s ladies race,” said Kalmer. Makhanya said it was an honour to be part of the initiative, and if it had been around when she started running, her running ‘would have been better’.
Generous community members had donated running shoes at the two Caxton offices in Joburg North throughout the year, as well as at the Spar Women’s Race Joburg on 8 October.
“We first started the campaign because at the race in 2015 we noticed many schoolchildren run without shoes,” said Caxton Johannesburg North branch manager, Norman Dawe.
“Caxton and Spar teamed up to promote running and healthy living. It has also been good to see other schools donate shoes to this initiative.”
Dawe encouraged community members and schools to continue their support and donate old or new running shoes ahead of next year’s handover.
Running shoes can be brought at office hours to either the Craighall office at 368 Jan Smuts Avenue or the Weltevreden Park office at 1187 Cornelius Street.
Dawe concluded by thanking Spar for supporting women’s running and furthering the development of the sport among the youth.