ATHLETICS NEWS - Cape Town’s beautiful springtime marathon, which for the last three years has retained IAAF Gold Label status, is this year aiming to raise in excess of R3 million for the 50+ charities associated with it. This is a 50% increase in charitable earnings from last year’s event, which was awarded Participation Event of the Year at the annual Sports Industry Awards.
“It’s extraordinary what city marathons can do for their local communities,” says race director Janet Welham. “The London Marathon, one of the world’s top marathon majors, has raised over R18 billion since its founding in 1981, and more specifically R1 176 billion at its 2018 event. Another major, the Boston Marathon, raised R520 million at its event last year, about a 7% increase on the year before.”
Relaunched in 2014, the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon – Africa’s only Gold Label city marathon – has earned considerable interest from a broad range of charities across not only the Western Cape but the country as a whole. Children, community, education, the environment, health, sports development, wildlife and women are the main charities for which a growing number of runners are raising funds.
Mariska Oosthuizen, head of brand at Sanlam says, “We are pleased about the positive social impact the race continues to make on Cape Town and the broader South African public. Giving back has always been an important aspect of the event. This year we continue to do so and will introduce a new and dynamic campaign inviting runners and fans to show their “gees” to support CANSA, the organisation Sanlam has partnered for more than 27 years to help raise millions of rand for the battle against cancer. Cancer affects one out of four people in South Africa. Supporting the cause through the marathon by running for good and cheering for good, is a worthwhile way to tackle a profound societal issue, while simultaneously completing a fairly challenging physical active endeavour for sporting or leisurely fulfilment.”
Commenting on the ease involved with rallying public support for a chosen charity, Welham says: “Social media is the tool to use to generate awareness around your favourite cause or charity that you as a runner are wanting to raise funds for, and the steps involved with linking yourself up to our fundraising platform, GivenGain, which in turn pays the charity once you’ve run the race, is very simple,”
Runners visit the marathon’s page on the GivenGain website, click the “start fundraising” option to register a fundraising project, and provide their Facebook login details or email address. They can then select any one of the partnered charities listed, provide a video or image to illustrate their page, and make it live.
“Setting up your fundraising page takes less than a minute, the most important part is to tell why you’re raising funds for the charity you’ve chosen for,” says Marius Maré, CEO of GivenGain. “And then share, share and share. Think of everyone in your network who might like to support you – family, close friends, colleagues, your running club, social-media followers – and send them the link via WhatsApp, SMS, email, social media or your preferred messaging service. The average participant on the GivenGain platform raises about R7 500 from about 15-20 donations in his or her network of family and friends. It might not sound significant at first by imagine 20 000 participants all raising funds!”