June means Comrades and DSR Youth Run

June is youth month, so it is entirely fitting that South Africa’s future athletic stars should provide the curtain raiser for the country’s biggest road race by taking part in the KZNA / DSR Youth Run on Saturday, June 8.

The KZNA / DSR Youth Run is an annual 10km and 5km event aimed at under 19 runners who are too young to take part in the Comrades Marathon a day later on June 9.

Organised by the KZN Department of Sport and Recreation and KZN Athletics, this annual mass participation event attracts thousands of budding athletes and gives them a taste of the benefits of exercise as they experience the simple joy of running.

The event is hosted at the Kings Park Rugby Stadium outer fields and is open to anyone who wishes to participate, although in line with the emphasis on youth, prizes are only awarded to athletes 19 years or younger.

“The KZNA / DSR Youth Run takes place every year and forms an important part of the nation’s Youth Month festivities,” said Hlengiwe Mavimbela, MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation. “It is a wonderful event that has been created so as to plant a seed in the minds of young runners that will hopefully one day grow into a dream of running the Comrades Marathon.

“With this event we want to introduce school children to the spirit and heart of the Comrades Marathon. At the Department of Sport and Recreation in KZN we are focused on providing opportunities for all children to participate in sport.

“It therefore gives us a great amount of pleasure and pride to see so many youngsters taking part. We know it will benefit them in the future. And who knows, perhaps we will one day find the next world champion emerging from this event.”

“Since it was first staged in 2010 the KZNA / DSR Youth Run has grown to become an important annual fixture on the KZN sports calendar, with mass participation from schools all across the province,” she said.

“The race targets youth athletes, but that does not mean anybody is excluded. Whether you are officially classified as youth, or just feel young at heart, or maybe are just inspired by the thought of 25 000 people running from Durban to Pietermaritzburg, everybody is welcome. Athletes participating in the Comrades are also expected to use the race for warm up.”

Participants can enter at any Pick & Pay store until Monday June 3; or online via the webtickets website at www.webtickets.co.za or with entry forms which can be handed in at the KZN Athletics offices unntil Friday at 4pm at the Kings Park Athletics Stadium with proof of payment (no cash will be accepted).

Race pack collection will be at Kings Park Athletics Stadium on Friday, June 7, from 9am until 4pm. Please contact the KZN Athletics office for any further information about the event (031-312 9374).