Making South Africa fit again

“May the best team win the 2019 BestMed Pedometer Challenge!” said Louis Jacobus van Zyl, Pedometer Challenge ambassador. Photo: Charl Devenish

Participants of the 2019 BestMed Pedometer Challenge will start to improve their health step by step after the University of the Free State (UFS) challenged the University of Stellenbosch, Central University of Technology, and North-West University to an eight-week walking competition.

South African athlete and the Pedometer Challenge ambassador, Louis Jacobus van Zyl, embraced the initiative as an alternative method to achieve fitness. “I am so tired of running and this is great way to stay fit,” he bantered during the official launch on 5 April 2019 at the Bloemfontein Campus.

Last year the UFS Division for Organisational Development and Employment Wellness at the Department of Human Resources led a UFS-only challenge that saw 60 teams of staff members log a total of 54 606km in eight weeks. The division then challenged the NWU. Together the NWU and UFS walked 132 000km. This year UFS is taking it one step further by challenging two more institutions.  

“We aim to get South Africa active, starting with the UFS by embracing fitness and health ourselves,” said Arina Engelbrecht, UFS Employee Wellness Specialist. Participants of all fitness and activity levels will gun for a 200 000km target over 10 weeks.
The challenge kicked off with a 3km walk at the launch, now there is 199 997 to go.