Underberg – With community outreach as a cornerstone of their events, Running Man Adventures and Ultra-Trail® Drakensberg have increased their community engagement to include the Southern Lodestar Foundation, a nutrition and nutrition educational foundation for children in rural areas of KwaZulu-Natal.
The team at the Southern Lodestar Foundation is made up of passionate runners and it was their participation in the 2018 UTD that sparked the connection and Andre Redinger and his directors saw the relationship as a perfect fit.
“Spurgeon (Flemington) and Matt (Goode) are incredibly passionate people and we felt that it was a great match,” Operations Manager at the Southern Lodestar Foundation Carla van Huyssteen said.
“We have taken the decision to partner with trail running events in KZN , as a way of creating awareness of child malnutrition and what we can do to improve it.”
“Trail runners are acutely aware about the importance of nutrition so they are the right market to appeal to.”
The foundation, although still in its formative years, is developing at a rapid rate with crèches in various parts of KwaZulu-Natal and the vision is to expand the programme nationwide.
“We have partnered with crèches in Mpompomeni, St Lucia, Ndwedwe as well as with the Kiddies College Crèche in Underberg.
“We will include the crèche in our Breakfast Program which sets out to address nutrient deficiency and malnutrition by providing a nutrient-rich, breakfast porridge to children.
“The Foundation also provide nutrition education for cooks and educators, helping them improve the quality of food provided for the learners.
“We are very passionate about the education part of the programme as it is vital that those preparing the food for the children understand the importance of nutrition,” Van Huyssteen added.
As has been the case since the inauguration of the event, UTD continues to support Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and Wildlife Act.
Every entrant into any of the four races makes a compulsory donation to EKZNW as well as to Wildlife Act.
EKZNW are the custodians of the Maloti Drakensberg World Heritage Site, the area that the event traverses and they are the main beneficiaries of the event.
Wildlife Act and Spurgeon Flemington have an ongoing relationship as the organisation is doing vital work in the Southern Drakensberg which led to the connection with Running Man events.
More information can be found at www.ultratraildrakensberg.com