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Vodacom Foundation

Vodacom gives kids a headstart in the race of life

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Five and a half thousand children from eight schools in the Western Cape will get a headstart in the lifelong quest to be fit and healthy, thanks to a donation from Vodacom of sports equipment valued at R250 000. The equipment, which was formally handed over to JAG and educators, through the principal of Arcadia Primary School, Bonteheuwel at a function today, will be used for the JAG Foundation's Mighty Metres programme.

Mighty Metres is a dynamic running programme aimed at encouraging children to keep active. Since its launch in May 2007, the Mighty Metres programme has attracted about 24,000 children in primary schools in the Western and Eastern Cape.

The programme is designed to challenge children between the ages of 5 and 13 to develop a healthy lifestyle and to learn to set goals.

Learners are then rewarded for reaching quarterly and annual goals. Goal-setting and the achievement thereof act as anchors for children who, in many cases, don't have role models. These anchors encourage youngsters to achieve successes beyond their current reality.

Youngsters are assisted by the Mighty Metres Community Coordinators who convey value messages on self-esteem, respect and goal-setting. By repeating the messages the programme reinforces life-changing values and instills a hunger for education.

Mthobi Tyamzashe, Vodacom Executive Director: CSI, says: "What impressed us most about the JAG Foundation's programme, Mighty Metres, is its laudable track record enabling children to develop a love for exercise, that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives. We are pleased to contribute towards this excellent initiative through our donation of equipment and look forward to seeing this programme benefitting the children in many different ways."

JAG Foundation Chief Executive Officer and Olympic medal holder, Elana Meyer, says: "The JAG Foundation fights gangsterism, alcohol and drug abuse by providing healthy alternatives to young children. Through the partnership with Vodacom and the equipment donated we implement the Mighty metres programme where children participate in physical activities."

Apart from getting active and moving, Mighty Metres helps children release constructive energy, set and strive towards personal goals, and bond with classmates and school. On top of it all, the programme is lots of fun and enables them to develop exercise as a healthy habit.

This donation of equipment follows a successful partnership where Vodacom was able to assist the JAG Foundation to supply about 60 mobile libraries to schools in six provinces over the past two years.

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