Bobs Charity for Two Oceans
The Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, which takes place on Saturday 23 April 2011, has appointed the Bobs for Good Foundation as the event’s official charity for the next three years.
Founded by former Springbok captain, Bob Skinstad and his lifelong friend Ron Rutland, the foundation is a local non-profit organisation, established out of the need to restore dignity and pride to underprivileged learners by giving them a new pair of South African made leather school shoes.
According to the Department of Education, over 7 million children in South Africa do not have school shoes, which is more than half the school student population. While there are many other social challenges that affect underprivileged children, the foundation has chosen to focus on getting shoes to these children, as educating the youth is the key to the nation’s future.
In addition, through an innovative partnership, Bobs for Good has developed a school shoe using reflective strips similar to that found in running shoes, which is aimed at reducing the number of children killed walking to and from school.
Through the gift of shoes, the foundation aims to promote the importance of education by keeping learners happy and in their classrooms. The Bobs for Good team has witnessed the domino effect that a single pair of school shoes can have on an individual, family and community, and the hope, pride and dignity that it gives.
“It is such a simple thing but it makes such a huge difference in the children’s lives,” said Skinstad. He added that they wanted to create an organisational environment which includes a focus on sustainability through their “buy 1 give 1” initiative, as well as building a culture that encourages participation from both within and outside the foundation and at all stages of the contributory cycle - from fun(d) raising to shoe drops. “By combining our various strengths, we hope to make a difference and play a positive role in the future of the country and Africa as a whole.”
Regarding the partnership with the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, Skinstad added, “We are thrilled to be collaborating with such an iconic South African event, and can’t wait to begin working with the team from the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon organisers on the exciting plans we have, and ensuring that we contribute wherever possible to the success of the event in 2011 and beyond.”
More information on the work of the Foundation, as well as their online ‘buy 1 give 1’ store, can be found at bobsforgoodfoundation.org.
Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon general manager Rowyn James said the event was extremely excited about signing up this new charity. “We look forward to helping the foundation realise their goals and to exploring the different opportunities that this relationship will present over the next three years. We are confident that the runners will embrace and support this initiative.”
Entries for the Cape’s most popular road running event open on Monday 1 November and runners are encouraged to enter online at twooceansmarathon.org.za, as well as donate towards the new charity.