Refusing to let the Covid-19 pandemic disrupt essential fundraising events, Steps – the NPO that brought the non-invasive Ponseti Method for clubfoot to South Africa – has partnered with JEFF Fitness in an innovative, technology-driven running event this ‘Steptember’.
The 60-minute run will take place on Saturday 19th September with Johno Meintjies (founder of JEFF Fitness) and JEFF Fitness’ coach Kopano as your virtual hosts who will be in your ear (via your headphones) as you run on your preferred route and complete your 6000 steps for a good cause.
The race starts at 8.00 am sharp with a pre-race build up from 7.30am. Part of the registration process is to create your own race number which you wear on the morning when you run so you can physically identify and encounter fellow Steptember runners if there are any along your chosen route.
“When we were approached, we absolutely had to make this work for Steps. They provide mobility to children who would otherwise be disabled, and we have learned so much during lockdown that we knew that we could provide a platform for them that speaks not only for the children who are being treated and who should be treated but also gives our community a chance to give back whilst doing what they love.” says Meintjies
Crowdfunding to support children living with clubfoot
In anticipation of the event over R 14 124.93 has already been raised on BackaBuddy towards the fundraising target of R100 000 to fund the treatment of 40 children living with clubfoot in South Africa.
“This run is inclusive, we know that everyone is struggling, so the donation element is important, but if they can’t donate, they can still run. Donations start at R50.00.” – Says Meintjies
“We are so honoured to be partnering with Johno and JEFF Fitness. They pivoted in March this year at the start of lockdown to daily live workouts streamed from Johno’s living room and from there have grown to an incredible community of over 50,000 people doing professional workouts via programmes or the live workout videos on the JEFF Together Facebook group. We usually did ‘10,000 steps for Steptember’ events to raise much-needed funds to fund our clinics and they’ve literally ‘stepped’ in this year to partner with us on a virtual run that is beyond our wildest imagination”. – Says Karen Moss, CEO of Steps
Two celebrities joining the event are Thato Molamu, actor and CEO of Gateway Media, and record-breaking Para-athlete Charne Felix, a Steps ambassador since 2019 who was born with right foot congenital clubfoot.
“I support Steps because I grew up with the stigma of shame. I believe by supporting this organization I am able to prevent any child or parent from feeling that exact same shame, whilst imparting some form of knowledge/awareness regarding clubfoot. I want to shine a light for those who don’t have the financial means I had with regard to rehabilitation at Steps clinics.” – says Felix
Another celebrity Steps ambassador, swimmer Cameron van der Burgh, is supporting the event from London.
“When I was sixteen I broke my ankle and I was told I might never swim again. I will never forget the worry, I felt like a prisoner in my own body as I worked to overcome my injury and go back to swimming. I can only imagine what it feels like growing up with an ankle that is stiff or in the wrong position. I will do everything I can to get the message out that clubfoot can be treated.” van der Burgh
Register to take part in the Steptember challenge: https://www.jeff.fitness/pages/steptember-run
Make a donation on BackaBuddy to support STEPS on BackaBuddy: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/jeffsteptemberrun-for-clubfoot
Connect with STEPS
Founded by Karen Moss in 2005, STEPS is a South African based NPO supporting babies born with clubfoot across South Africa (and further). Moss introduced the non-invasive Ponseti Method to South Africa after the 100% successful clubfoot treatment of her own son in 2003 by Dr. Ignaçio Ponseti, the innovative pioneer of the Ponseti Method of treatment. STEPS’ work has resulted in thousands of children having access to effective treatment who would otherwise have lived a life of disability.
Clubfoot is the most common musculoskeletal birth defect globally. The baby is born with one or both feet twisted downwards and inwards, in a rigid position. If left untreated the child will be unable to wear shoes or walk normally, leading to a life of disability, isolation and pain. Unlike many other birth defects, Clubfoot is treatable. Contact Steps
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