A symbol to highlight the role of peace and goodwill in community-building, the torch has been carried since 1987, visiting more than 155 countries". Image: YouTube
Cape Town – A torch belonging to the Sri Chinmoy Oneness-Home Peace Run, a global torch relay, today made an appearance at Surrey Primary School in Athlone and Ukhanyo Primary School in Masiphumelele, along with some of the elite athletes who will take on this weekend’s Sanlam Cape Town Marathon.

A symbol to highlight the role of peace and goodwill in community-building, the torch has been carried since 1987, visiting more than 155 countries and covering more than 632 000km around the world.

As part of the relay, torch-bearers share the message of peace, friendship and harmony by passing the burning torch from one person’s hand to another.

It officially marks the start of Sanlam Cape Town Marathon’s weekend-long festival of running events.

Surrey School principal Imtiaz Adams said: “This run signifies so many unifying aspects within our community, it’s just coincidental that our communities are in pain and agony regarding femicide.

‘‘The Peace Run also means run for change.”

The school had held a number of events during Women’s Month and after the recent spate of gender-based violence crimes.

“We had successful activities during Women’s Month. Last week, we held a silent protest where the school prefects lined up on the main road with placards.

‘‘This was in light of the recent rape and killing of UCT student Uyinene Mrwetyana, but it has been globilised into a bigger movement - it has gone beyond the borders of the Cape Province and other provinces.

“The Peace Run calls for universal inner peace and we are a catchment, for many dysfunctional families and learners come from these families - and as a school we open our doors to them,” Adams said.

Peace Run coordinator Abhijahi Robinson said the organisation had been working with the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon for the past few years.

“This year we are doing a big round all the way around the Southern Hemisphere, running to all 44 countries.

‘‘My brother and I have been organising the section that goes through southern Africa.

‘‘Starting this week, we have been to Lesotho and Cape Town, and we will be going to Durban, Mozambique, Swaziland, Joburg, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

“We are very happy to be here. We have been visiting schools all around Cape Town for the last couple of days,” Robinson said.

In the torch’s third visit to the Mother City and the marathon, after making a similar appearance this time last year. It will be part of several other events in this weekend’s festival of running.

The torch will be exhibited at the opening of the marathon’s registration and expo centre at the Century City Conference Centre.

It will make another appearance at the start of the 22km and 12km Peace Trail Runs tomorrow, and at the Cape Times Captain’s Challenge breakfast event in Granger Bay.

On Sunday, it will appear at the start of the 42.2km marathon, along with key dignitaries.

My African Dream, by Vicky Samson, Asimbonanga by Johnny Clegg, and the South African national anthem will be sung by Cape Town’s Heavenly Quartez at the event.

Cape Times