The 8th Annual Dete 10k Fun Run Sponsored by the Jane Bubear Sports Foundation saw the highest attendance yet, with over 400 children participating in the 2km run and over 1000 entrants into the 10km Fun Run.
This annual event brings together people from the wider community, consisting of over 18 villages covering over 30,000 people, transport being offered to the villagers and school children from rural schools such as Mambanje, Chezhou, Lupote, Dopota and Hwange Main Camp, Mabale, Dingani, Sianyanga, and Nabushome, some as far as 30km from the center of Dete where the race is held.
The atmosphere on the morning of the 30th April was charged with the expectation of the annual event. For the communities surrounding Dete this 10km fun run is one of the most anticipated events to take place, some take it very seriously – whilst others partake for the thrill of competing and all enjoy every step.
The children eagerly lined up at the start line and as the starter gun blows, they were off in a cloud of dust, laughing could be heard as they rounded the corner and could no longer be seen. When coming back across the line they are all smiles.
The start of the adults’ race was announced by the starter gun and every foot took off – be it with shoe, slop, bare foot or slipper. Those not competing lined the road cheering their fellow community members on until the last person came through. The winners this year of the adult male and female races where;
Defending Champion Edward Gumede and a first time winner Khesiwe Dube respectively.
The Hide Community Trust represented by Christabelle Peech, partnered with us for the event, assisting with providing transport for the remote schools which they support, as well as much appreciated refreshments for the overwhelming number of school children.
Martin and Hilary Winter from the UK, representing the sponsor Jane Bubear Sports Foundation made the journey once again to participate in the fun run. Both are lifelong passionate runners, however suffering from long term injuries, they accompanied the runners on Mountain Bikes which were later awarded as prizes in a draw at the prize giving ceremony. They were accompanied by Alistair Adams, who brought a true cultural exchange, playing traditional Scottish songs on the bagpipes at each school visited and also opening the prize giving ceremony for the Fun Run, a first and most memorable experience for all fortunate enough to witness.
The day prior to the race, Martin, Hilary Winter and Alistair visited the Mambanje Community which the Jane Bubear Sports Foundation has supported generously over the past years with uniforms and text books and they enjoyed the impressive progress which the school has made since their initial visit in 2012, especially the new Library, a grant which they assisted Mambanje Primary School to receive.
Sianyanga Primary School with 210 students were the recipients of warm fleece jumpers which have become a part of the fundraising Jane Bubear Sports Foundation does as part of the fun run every year, not only giving the children something new for their school uniforms but also providing warmth for the children now approaching winter where children walk anywhere from 1 – 4km every day just to get to school.
The last stop was the Dete Old Age Home which is also supported by the Jane Bubear Sports Foundation, the drought experienced this year has created great challenges to the home which relies on donations to serve the elderly members of the community.
The local organizing committee consisting of Mr Tembo, headmaster of St Francis Primary School, Mr Mathe, headmaster of Detema Secondary School, Dominic Nyathi from Painted Dog Conservation and Mr Masuku from Main Camp spent months bringing together this event to perfect execution and they were assisted by 26 Marshall’s from the local community who volunteer their services to assist in the pre-race registration and organize the event on the day.
Students from the African Bush camps Foundation Secondary Scholarship program attended the event, assisting in the race preparation as a part of their mandate to serve their community and learn to give back and mentor the primary school’s which they themselves attended.
The prize giving of the fun run was celebrated with the local Ingonyama Dance Group and music on the bagpipes by Alistair Adams, many people singing along to songs which move people globally, not only promoting a friendly yet competitive sporting culture in this rural community but also bringing people together to celebrate life.
Great thanks go to all of the people who helped make this day a success, the Jane Bubear Sports Foundation for it’s incredible ongoing sponsorship, the Official Organising Committee Team who spends several months leading up to the day co-ordinating the event, Mr V.B. Sibanda, a specially invited guest who made the trip from Harare to support the event, The Hide Community Trust for their support and donations, PDC who assisted with transport and co-ordinated the medical team, Dete Clinic for their medical back up, National Parks for security, African Bush Camps and Somalisa Camp for sending joyful runners and the local schools and officials who register all 1000 participants and ensure a safe and smooth event.
We now look towards next year’s event, creating sporting events that bring the communities together is proving a wonderful success.