At six o’clock on a cool breezy morning on the 19th April 2014 the crowd started to gather at Detema Secondary School in Dete, a rural village in the west of Zimbabwe, bordering Hwange National Park. The people were fresh from the celebrations of Zimbabwe’s Independence Public Holiday the day before and the atmosphere was infused with anticipation for the annual Jane Bubear Sports Foundation 10K Fun Run, now in its 6th year running.
Primary school children arrived in great numbers from the surrounding schools, including children from Hwange Main Camp Primary, Nabushome Primary, Mambanje Primary School, Chezhou Primary, Dupota Primary, Lupote Primary and the two local Dete schools of Sir Roy and St Francis Primary.
As registration was finalized of the runners rearing to partake, the first race started. The eager children exceeding 400 in number this year took to the track. The first runner to hit the rope was a boy from Nabushome and the first young lady was from Mambanje Primary School. The rest followed suite with a great sense of achievement. The young children in this area are very fit from walking and running to and from school every day.
About 700 adults followed in the children’s footsteps, there was a great sense of friendly competition with runners all trying to outdo each other. The adults produced a 5 star performance with the defending champion coming first for the second time, crossing the finish line in the fleet footed time of 32 minutes. The first lady crossed the finish line on the 52 minute mark.
This year we saw a third race being held called the ‘Veteran Race’ with 50 years being the minimum age to enter. This race had many participants and all the athletes completed the 10km course.
Before the awards ceremony a lucky draw was held where by all the athletes numbers were put together and drawn out of a hat. Each lucky person whose number was drawn received a prize. There were 5 prizes for girls and boys and the adults also saw the top 5 runners receiving a prize in both male and female races.
The event was a success and brought much joy and excitement to the Dete community. The numbers of people both in participants and supporters increases every year and the reach of this event spreads wider as more and more people want to join in and be a part of this special day. A huge thanks to the Jane Bubear Foundation who sponsored a long sleeved T-shirt for each race participant handing out a total of 1000 which will be proudly warn by all lucky enough to receive one.
Each year the Jane Bubear Sports Foundation raises additional funds to meet some of the needs in the community. This year, they raised funds for both the Mambanje and Chezhou communities. The representing team led by Martin Winter and his wife Hilary arrived at Mambanje Primary School on the 18th of April to be welcomed by a cheerful group of children who had assembled by the school office. The children sang a welcome song and greeted the visitors. The Schools District Council vice chairman welcomed the visitors and led them around the school.
The first books to be issued out were the Nambya dictionaries, the local language spoken in the remote community, followed by the Happy Readers books and Student Companion’s and Content Subject Textbooks (Home Economics, Social studies and Religious Moral Education).
The handing of books was a success, the community was all smiles and the children were so happy to receive the books, a truly precious commodity where often each classroom as one of each text book if they are lucky to even have any.
As a part of the Donations, The Jane Bubear Sports Foundation raised funds to donate Fleece jumpers to Chezou Primary School. In previous years, the Jane Bubear Sports Foundation have donated Fleeces to four other surrounding Primary schools, more than 1,400 to date have been given out the school children including Mambanje Primary, Hwange Main Camp Primary School, Sir Roy Primary and St Francis Primary School.
The visitors arrived at Chezhou Primary School and were welcomed by the Deputy headmaster. Martin from the Jane Bubear Sports Foundation took the opportunity to talk to the school representatives about their organization and how they help communities. It was a blessed day for the Chezhou Primary School children as they were all smiling and sang a song to express their gratitude.
Great thanks goes out to the Jane Bubear Sports Foundation for making this event possible for the 6th year running, bringing this great event to Dete but also much needed support to the schools and wider community. A big thank you also goes out to Miombo Safari Lodge for hosting the guests during their stay as well as Mr Tembo and his hard working and efficient administration team for all their hard work in preparation leading up to and on the day of the event to make it such a success.