By Steve Maphakathe
On Wednesday, 6 September the Fanie du Toit Sports Grounds welcomed staff and students of the North-West University (NWU) at the run-with-colour-fun event that was hosted jointly by the Faculty of Health Sciences, the School of Human Movement Sciences and the Centre of Health and Human Performance (CHHP).
The event was about more than just running in an array of colours. Its purpose was to raise awareness of gender and identity issues in diverse contexts, as well as to encourage diversity and inclusion among students and staff.
In his brief word of welcome the vice-chancellor, Prof Bismark Tyobeka, explained the importance of creating an environment where everyone feels safe, respected and valued.
“The run-with-colour-fun is a unique and colourful way for us to emphasise the importance of breaking free from stereotypes, as well as of embracing the spectrum of gender identities. As we embark on this colourful day, we demonstrate our commitment to dismantling the barriers that may grind us down, and instead we embrace the ties that bind us together as a community.”
Prof Bismark Tyobeka and the NWU's Comrades hero, Dr Adele Broodryk, began the run at the parking ground of the A rugby field. Two and a half kilometres around the sports field and along the Mooi River followed. The route passed the world-class facilities of the NWU High Performance Institute for Sport (HPI) and the Centre of Health and Human Performance (CHHP).
Five colour stations with different fully bio-degradable and non-toxic coloured powders were provided every hundred metres to ensure participants finished the race looking colourful.
Prof Hans de Ridder, director of the School of Human Movement Sciences, described the event as remarkable.
“It was a huge success, demonstrating how much we value Gender Awareness Week. We came out in large numbers to enjoy a pleasant and colourful day.”
Hope Khanye, a second-year student in Sports Coaching at the School of Human Movement Sciences, said the event was enjoyable and effective, since he was able to improve his fitness. For an overview of the event, click on the following link: https://youtu.be/gcUOkp1eBrM
NWU students and staff participating in the colour run
Prof Bismark Tyobeka also took part in the colour run.