Athletes leave their footprint to promote wildlife conservation
SOUTH Africans are waking up to the fact that much of our wildlife is under threat and so they are getting up from their couches and participating in fun events to raise money for animal conservation.
The PAWS Race for Survival was held in The Kenton-on-Sea/Cob Bay area last weekend. The event consisted of 20km and 42km cycles on Saturday and 7.5km and 15km runs on Sunday.
With perfect weather inspiring the participants, both the runs and the cycles took riders and runners through the Kenton/Cob Bay area, and were monitored at all times by experienced rangers.
James Williams from the Wild Dogs MTB (mountain bike) Club in East London and his wife, Caron, travelled to Kenton-on-Sea to participate in the race. He said conservation was of critical importance, and that events such as the Paws race were an important step in conservation efforts.
“We ride a lot of these races,” James said. “Our club uses the emblem of the wild dog, as these are a very endangered species, whose packs have been decimated due to the encroachment of humans into their territory. “But all wildlife must be preserved, so supporting these fun weekends is a great way to generate funds.”
Paws Wildlife Centre’s Gavin de Lange said: “We’re glad to say that, apart from a few minor scrapes and falls, there were no serious incidents.”
Paws cares for and rehabilitates orphaned wild animals. “Feedback from many of the participants was entirely positive – well organised, cheap entry, great food, great prizes and, above all, a great venue.
Many promised to bring family and friends next time, as we are going to make this an annual event and next time [we will be] featuring a ‘King of The Hill’ title for runners and cyclists,” he added. “Funds raised from the event will go to furthering our awareness campaign in regard to the plight of wildlife and, with over 380 rhino having been poached to date this year alone, this campaign requires a lot of focus. “Many thanks to all who participated, and we hope to see you all (including friends and family) next year,” De Lange said.
For more information on further events or photographs from this event, contact firstname.lastname@example.org The winners of the cycle event in the men’s section were (20km race) Brandon Calitz and (42km race) James Williams. As for the ladies, Annemarie Van Wyk won the 20km race and Caron Williams the 42km race.
In the trail running races for men, first place went to Sean Knight (15km race) and Simon Young (7.5km race). As for the ladies, the 15km run was won by Kerry Currie and the 7.5km run winner was Megan Coltman.