BACKGROUND

Sport and Recreation South Africa (SRSA) active recreation mandate is derived from the National Sport and Recreation Act 110 of 1998 as amended. Further reinforced by the National Sport and Recreation Plan which states the following as one of the strategic goal:

a.    Citizens access to sport and recreation activities; and
b.    Recreation used as a tool to support relevant governmental and global priorities

SRSA is an affiliated member to The Association for International Sport for All (TAFISA) which is a non-governmental and non-profit organisation under the auspices of the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee. TAFISA’s vision and mission is to achieve an Active World by globally promoting and facilitating access for every person to Sport for All and physical activity. In 1991 TAFISA launched the World Walking Day to promote health through walking. The World Walking Day is held first week of October each year and has attracted more than 15 million people to participate every year across the world.

It is for this reason that SRSA in 2012 to align with TAFISA World Walking Day initiative decided on hosting The Big Walk taking place the first Sunday of October each year. The Big Walk as South African version of the World Walking Day since 2012 has been held annually on the first Sunday of October in City of Tshwane only. In 2015 SRSA and all Provincial Department of Sport and Recreation decided on having the Big Walk in all provincial capital cities on the first Sunday of each October.

The National event of the Big Walk has since grown in stature having stated with only less than two thousand (2000) participants to now more than thirty thousand (30 000) participants in 2017. With the inclusion of all provincial events we hope to get more than hundred thousand people walking nationwide on the day across the country.   

The desired outcome of this SRSA initiated and implemented targeted campaign is to promote participation in sport and recreation and also for SRSA to be able to utilise sport and recreation as a medium of building a healthy nation. People directly involved benefit from a significantly enhanced quality of life. In addition, the physical activities people engage in, how they are integrated into community life, the values expressed through them and how they are celebrated; help define the individuals, groups, communities of a nation.

LINK TO THE OVERALL GOVERNMENT LONG AND MEDIUM TERM STRATEGIC

The National Development Plan encourages citizens to constantly develop the habit of leading an active life-style at a young age through participation in sport. It also purports that South Africans need to be more physically active as part of their culture and that daily sport and recreational interactions on an equal basis, build social cohesion and common understanding hence the association with The Big Walk.

Governments’ Medium Term Strategic Framework advocates also for the promotion of social cohesion across society through increased interaction across race and class, with the goal that we can establish a diverse, socially cohesive society with a common national identity. The Big Walk as an SRSA programme, address SRSA commitment to promote participation in sport and recreation. This goal is also outlined in the White Paper for Sport and Recreation as the white Paper continues to encourage citizen’s access to sport and recreational activities.

This is further auctioned in the National Sport and Recreation Plan in two strategic objectives:
Strategic Objective 1: To improve the health and well-being of the nation by providing mass participation opportunities through active recreation; and
Strategic Objective 2: To promote participation in sport and recreation by initiating and implementing targeted campaigns.

STAKEHOLDERS

  • Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa
  • All Provincial departments of Sport and Recreation
  • All government departments
  • Coca-Cola
  • Love Life
  • Sport for Social Change

TARGET PARTICIPANTS

  • All citizens irrespective of age, gender, religion and origin
  • Event also encourages participation by families,
  • Corporate community.

(All text: Sport and Recreation South Africa)