12 April 2019 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Charl Devenish
LJ van Zyl
“May the best team win the 2019 BestMed Pedometer Challenge!” said LJ van Zyl, Pedometer Challenge ambassador.

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

South African 400-metre hurdles record-holder and the Pedometer Challenge ambassador, LJ 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 said during the official launch on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus on 5 April 2019.

Inter-institutional fight for fitness

Last year, the UFS Division for Organisational Development and Employment Wellness in the Department of Human Resources led a UFS-only challenge that saw 60 teams of staff members log a total of 54 606 km in eight weeks. The division then challenged the NWU.

Together, the NWU and UFS walked 132 000 km. This year, the UFS is taking it one step further by challenging two more institutions.
Leading the way

“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 on all fitness and activity levels will gun for a 200 000 km target over 10 weeks.

The challenge kicked off on the Bloemfontein Campus with a 3-km walk at the launch, leaving 199 997 km between the four universities for the rest of the eight-week challenge.

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