World-famous runner Elana Meyer was named as the newest Laureus Ambassador after taking part in the Discovery 702 Walk the Talk event in Johannesburg, which raised funds for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in South Africa.
Elana was given a warm welcome by other Laureus Academy Members and Ambassadors doing the Walk, including rugby legend Morné du Plessis, South African World Cup football star Lucas Radebe, Paralympic and Olympic swimmer Natalie du Toit, former Banyana Banyana captain Desiree Ellis and sports media celebrity John Robbie.
Around 55,000 walkers took part in what is one of the biggest mass participation sporting events in the world and afterwards former Bafana Bafana captain Lucas Radebe said: “I would like to give a big welcome to Elana as she joins the Laureus Family. It is fitting that her first event as a Laureus Ambassador should be today’s Discovery 702 Walk the Talk at Marks Park; an event that inspires both giving back, and living a healthy and fit lifestyle.
“Elana is passionate about her sport and I know she will be passionate about the work she does for Laureus to help disadvantaged young people all over South Africa. I thank her for agreeing to become a Laureus Ambassador.”
Elana Meyer’s sporting highlight was winning the silver medal in the 10,000 metres at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and during her career she has held many track and road racing records. Her story is one of triumph against the odds.
At just 18 months she was nearly killed when she fell under the wheels of a vehicle, but survived. She says: “This has had a profound influence on how I live my life. I realise life is a precious gift and live every day to the fullest. That is why I am so happy to be able to support Laureus.”
Hylton Kallner, CEO of Discovery Marketing says, “Walk the Talk was a remarkable event and day. Everyone who participated made strides in improving their own health and wellbeing, and contributed to a positive feeling of optimism and pride on the streets of Johannesburg.
“I would like to thank everyone who participated in what was the largest and most successful Walk to date, and extend special thanks to our employees who volunteered through our Discovery Employee Volunteer Programme to help man the water points and encourage and inspire walkers to continue their journey to health.
“Discovery also welcomes the announcement of Elana as the newest Laureus ambassador as she is a champion both on and off the field, and inspires people to be the very best they can be, mentally, physically and emotionally.”
The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa is one of the official charities of this year’s Walk the Talk event and will receive a percentage of every fully paid entry into the 5km and 8 km events. This year the funds raised will go to the Laureus-supported projects Johannesburg Cubs, Soweto Schools Rugby, Sport for All and Fight with Insight, all of whom will be participating in the Walk as well as hosting an exhibition of their project activities.
Morné du Plessis, Chairman of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa, said: “This has been a wonderful day. It is a terrific event which brings the whole of Johannesburg together. I would like to thank all the Laureus Ambassadors, past and of course present, through Elana, for their invaluable support. The money we have raised today will do so much good.”
The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa supports 16 sports-based community programmes nationally. Since its inception the Laureus Foundation in South Africa has raised R25million for projects which have helped to improve the lives of more than 19,000 young people. Discovery is the Country Patron of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation Trust in South Africa.