Two-time Everest climber Deshun Deysel is looking forward to conquering yet another challenge – albeit a much easier one than the ring or the mountain ever posed!
“In the words of our former president Nelson Mandela, sport has the power to change the world and unite people. When I heard of all the great things the (Laureus Sport for Good) Foundation does for the community, I immediately wanted to get on board and help contribute,” said Deshun Deysel.
“I think it’s terrific that the Foundation is the benefiting charity for this year’s Discovery 702 Walk the Talk. Because of the event the Foundation is able to continue to change the lives of thousands of children in this country.”
Deshun Deysel knows all to well how important it is to keep active. She has been a mountaineer for 11 years and has climbed some of the most unforgiving peaks around the world. In just two weeks she is leaving for Russia to tackle the Seven Summits, but not before she tries her legs in the walk’s 8km.
“I started climbing mountains when I was 25 and became totally hooked on the sport,” she said. “Climbing is a challenge on every level. It tests your entire being – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, and reveals things about yourself you never knew existed.
“Walking is also a sport I enjoy because it’s a great ways to keep your mind and body healthy,” she said. “It strengthens your heart, your bones and your muscles, and improves your mood. The Discovery 702 Walk the Talk gives people who wouldn’t normally exercise the opportunity to get out and give their body a workout while having some fun.”
Together with ‘Baby Jake’ Matlala, the two Laureus Sport for Good Foundation ambassadors are participating in this year’s Discovery 702 Walk the Talk on Sunday, July 22.
“It’s great to have such remarkable sportsmen and sportswomen taking part in this year’s event,” said Talk Radio 702 station manager, Pheladi Gwangwa.
“The fact that personalities like Deshun Deysel are participating emphasises just how popular this walk has become,” sad Gwangwa.
“The numbers this year to be a record in terms of mass participation, (and) the walk is right up there with international events like the New York Marathon, and the London Marathon.
This is a remarkable achievement that reflects Joburg’s dedication to fitness, fun and family.”
A percentage of all entry fees from this year’s event will be donated to the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation – the official benefiting charity organisation of this event.
Some of the key challenges the Foundation tackles on a daily basis include AIDS, poverty, illiteracy, drug and alcohol abuse, gangsterism, street crime, teenage pregnancy, physical abuse, as well as racial and religious discrimination. The Foundation supports 48 projects worldwide, helping improve the lives of over 150 000 children.
The South African Chapter of the Foundation, founded in 2000, celebrates the universal power of sport to bring people together as a force for good and uses the passion that sport inspires to effect social change across the globe.
Both Baby Jake and Deyshun Deysel said they hoped that organisations and companies across South Africa take the concept of The Walk the Talk and run with it in their own special way.
“It would be nice to see sporting events like the Discovery 702 Walk the Talk in townships. Can you imagine a similar walk happening in Thembisa, Soweto or Eldarodo Park and how great it would be for the kids,” they said.
The Discovery 702 Walk the Talk is now in its seventh year. The route will start and finish at the Marks Park Sports Club in Emmarentia, while the walk itself will traverse the green, leafy suburbs of Emmarentia, Greenside, Parktown, Parkhurst, Parkwood and Parkview.
To ensure the safety of walkers and spectators, certain roads in and around the walk route will be closed on the day
, including Judith Road, Barry Hertzog Avenue, Emmarentia Avenue and Louw Geldenhuys Drive.
Due to the record number of entries this year, the starting time of the 5km and 8km race has been changed. Walkers are encouraged to arrive early to ensure that they get to the start of their race on time. There may also be delays during the day due to the volume of people on the roads.
“We need to allow more time for the 8km walkers to access the parking and get to the start so we have moved the start time from 08h30 to 09h30,” said Tanya Harford, race director of Harford Sports Promotion.
“We have also moved the start time of the 5km from 10h30 to 11h30, again to allow time to get everyone in. It’s recommend people make arrangements to arrive at the venue well before their race starts, and to expect the kind of crowd one would see at say an international rugby match or music concert.”
Top local acts PJ Powers and Denim will be entertaining the crowds while a separate, secure kiddies area will keep the kids entertained. Members of the public are invited to bring along picnic baskets and enjoy a day in the sun at Marks Park.