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Racing for a cause: South Africa’s Mahikeng to host JM BUSHA 54 RACES for Peace and Unity in Africa


News Reporter

JOHANNESBURG – The 2019 edition of the JM BUSHA 54 RACES for Peace and Unity in Africa, popularly known as JM BUSHA 54, is this year slated for Mahikeng, in South Africa’s Northwest Province.

JM BUSHA 54 is a non-profit organisation involved in social investment programmes aimed at promoting education, peace, unity and harmony among African people and nations, thereby creating a just and sustainable society.

It is an annual citizen-driven initiative premised on its extraordinary vision, “One Big event, One Africa in 54 countries, 25 May each year all on Africa Day, all for Peace and Unity”.

As part of the Africa Day celebrations, the ultimate aim is for the races to become a highlight on the athletes’ and active citizens’ calendar, proceeds of which go towards education in the form of scholarships and textbooks for students, arts, cultural and sporting programs.

According to the organisers, the main aim of the initiative is to promote peace and unity through education, arts, culture, music and sports as well as to engage and enrol individuals and institutions so they can actively promote and pledge peace, unity, accountability and responsibility at all levels of society, organisations and governments. The vision is to build a peaceful, prosperous and united people of Africa and the world.

The 2019 edition will tentatively see about 1,000 runners of various age groups parade for the JM BUSHA 5.4KM Peace Relay Championship, where R54,000 worth of prizes that will be up for grabs. The race will start at 6am and end at 4pm at the International School of South Africa in Mahikeng.

“Unity and peace are the foundation for social cohesion; social and economic development; education; equal opportunities and other positives required to build a better society,” reads a statement from the organisers.

“With mass participation, the JM BUSHA 54 Peace Relay Championship is an effective program to promote lasting friendships and social cohesion in communities with diverse cultural settings.”

The JM BUSHA 54 Peace Relay and Fun Walk Champions is made up of a relay that covers 54 km, with each leg covering 5.4 km. Conditions for participation are that participants can enter as individuals or enter as part of a team, and submit a name for their team.

Each team is comprised of 10 participants, five males and five females and each leg is 5.4 km, meaning the runners will cover a total of 54 km.

“In recent months, we have seen on our news outlets and social media, violence between students in high schools across the country,” reads a campaign message from the organisers.

“These violent attacks have sparked a lot of debate among South Africans, especially on social media, resulting in South Africans questioning how safe the school system is towards learners and teachers.”

This year’s campaign therefore, aims to promote peace and unity in Africa through the school’s race – friendship, promote a safer school environment in South Africa, Africa and the world and promote physical activity at schools in South Africa

Participation Categories: JM BUSHA 54 Peace Relay

Group A: Junior 10 – 19 years

Group B: Open 20 – 39 years

Group C: Veterans 40 – 49 years

Group D: Masters 50 years and over

Participation Categories: Fun Walk Championship 5.4 km

Group E: Junior 6 – 19 years

Group F: Veteran 40 – 49 years

Group G: Master 50 years and over

Participation Entry Fees

• Juniors 6 – 9 years R20

• Student 10 – 19 years R25

• Masters 50 + years R100

• Veterans 40 – 49 R150

• Open 20 – 39 years R150

Prizes

JM BUSHA 54 Peace Relay

Category                    Age group                  Position                       Cash prize

Group A: Junior          10 – 19 years               1st place                      R4 000

                                                                        2nd place                      R2 000

                                                                        3rd place                     R1 000

Group B: Open           20 – 39 years               1st place                      R7 000

                                                                        2nd place                     R5 000

                                                                        3rd place                     R3 000

Group C: Veterans      40 – 49 years               1st place                      R5 000

                                                                        2nd place                     R2 000

                                                                        3rd place                     R1 000

Group D: Masters       50 years and over        1st place                      R3 000

                                                                        2nd place                     R2 000

                                                                        3rd place                     R1 000

Fun Walk Championship 5.4 km

Group E: Junior           6 – 19  years                1st place                      R3 000

                                                                        2nd place                     R2 000

                                                                        3rd place                     R1 000

Group F: Veteran        40 – 49 years               1st place                      R3 000

                                                                     2nd place                     R2 000

                                                                        3rd place                     R1 000

Group G: Master         50 years and over        1st place                      R3 000

                                                                        2nd place                     R2 000

                                                                        3rd place                     R1 000

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