Big Walk, fun run to honour legend 'Loop en Val'

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

South African athletics legend Mathews "Loop en Val" Motshwarateu, who was killed by unknown people in 2001, will be honoured with a fun run on May 1.

Sowetan and Coca-Cola South Africa have joined forces to introduce the 10km Big Walk in Soweto in honour of Motshwarateu, nicknamed "Loop and Val" because of his awkward gait..

The Sowetan Big Walk is hosted by Loop en Val Athletics, Mapetla-based club affiliated to Central Gauteng Athletics.

There will also be a 5km fun walk to make it an inclusive outing for the whole family.

Entry fee for the main walk is R20 and an additional R15 for a temporary licence. Participants for the fun run will pay R10. The closing date is April 29

The organisers are expecting a big turnout from people across Gauteng. Some high-profile soccer players will also take part.

The plan is to make the walk a yearly event, hoping it will also attract walkers across the country.

Those keen to take part can also register at all shopping malls in Soweto.

Entry forms will be available at Highgate and Southgate malls on April 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27. Sowetan will also publish the entry forms.

There will be prizes galore for the winners, including T-shirts for the first 200 walkers who complete the main event.

Pango Makhale, Loop en Val Athletics Club representative, said: "We are happy to be part of this historic event, bringing such a huge event to Soweto.

"It will also encourage our people to stay healthy by walking."

Motshwarateu also spent seven years in the United States on a scholarship at the University of Texas-El Paso.

During his stay in the US, he won All-American colours on four occasions in the cross-country, 10000m and three-mile run.

Also known as Tshwaras, Motshwarateu made history in 1980 while still at the university when he broke the world 10km record.