THE fundraising idea behind the Sweat100k for Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) is novel, but it is the organiser's commitment to the cause that is really inspiring.
Yanga Lusasa (middle) and his Viva Gym team are ready to make everyone sweat at the #Sweat100k event taking place at NMMU's Indoor Sports Centre on Wednesday, 27 June.
NMMU Society Officer Yanga Lusasa conceived the concept as part of the University’s Student Governance and Development division that will see staff and students raise funds for academically deserving poor students while burning calories, but it is his example that will hopefully mobilize others to be part of an institutional drive to give back to the next generation of students.
Orphaned at 16, the fitness instructor knows the reality of poverty and wanting to study further. A National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) bursary allowed him to attain a human movement science degree and he will remain ever thankful for the opportunity.
"I know what it feels like to be poor and how difficult it was to study. I want the opportunity that I was given, to become a possibility for others too. That's why I am doing this. I want to give back. I want us all to give back."
Last week, with the backing of Student Governance and Development, Yanga and three other fitness instructors hosted a flash mob at the Kraal where students gather at lunch time on South Campus to raise awareness about the Sweat100k 4 NMMU fun fundraising events.
Staff and students are being invited to burn off calories while raising funds for the University's #Trailblazing campaign in which Vice-Chancellor Prof Derrick Swartz and 20 others, including NMMU Chancellor Santie Botha and entrepreneur Dr Bridgette Gasa, will be completing the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu to raise R4m in September.
160 students who were unable to complete the final year of their studies because of a lack of funding will hopefully be able to "finish the journey" as a result of the campaign.
In leading by example, Prof Swartz is hoping to inculcate a culture of giving back to future generations among NMMU staff and students
Yanga's Sweat100k 4 NMMU is such an example.
The Sweat100K is open to all and will run at lunchtime on 27 July, 17 August and 28 September in the Indoor Sports Centre.
Each fitness instructor will demonstrate a different exercise discipline - body toning (Yonga), kickboxing (Casey), functional training (Yanga) and yoga (Kim) - for 10 minutes. Participants will get a two-minute break before starting the next exercise session.
"The sessions are for everyone regardless of fitness level. In fact, folk can simply watch if they want to. The only pre-requisite is a donation of at least R10 for students and at least R20 for staff members and any other who would like to join us. It's about supporting the fundraising."
Yanga said he was thrilled with the response thus far. A number of sponsors had come forward - Viva Gym, Nutritech, Body Fuel, Score, Resound, Dj Dayne Lee, NMMU Security Services, Campus Health, Shuttle Services, Student Governance, Communication and Stakeholder Liaison - and there's been great interest from students after the flash mob demonstration.
Tel: +27 (0) 41 504 1111
Fax: +27 (0) 41 504 2574 / 2731
PO Box 77000, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Port Elizabeth, 6031, South Africa
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