Item 1308 - Speech by President Nelson Mandela at the Prize Giving for the 71st Running of the Comrades Marathon

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ZA COM MR-S-1308


Speech by President Nelson Mandela at the Prize Giving for the 71st Running of the Comrades Marathon


  • 1996-06-17 (Creation)

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Transcription of speech made by Mr Mandela

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(18 July 1918-5 December 2013)

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Migrated from the Nelson Mandela Speeches Database (Sep-2018).

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71st Running of the Comrades Marathon

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  • English

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Today marks a special and exciting moment in the life of our Children's Fund. Assembled here are Runners who have just completed the greatest ultra Marathon Race in the world. Many more are making their way here with courage and determination. All have added further value to this remarkable test of endurance by including the Children's Fund in this special day.

Runners and Supporters alike have been brought closer together by a commitment to a noble cause : the plight of South Africa's youth and how to alleviate it.

I wish to thank all of you - Runners, Supporters, Sponsors and Comrades Association administrators - for reaching out to join hands with our Children's Fund.

I am very proud to be associated with so generous a development, and I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation at being able to share in the first Comrades Marathon for the benefit of the Children's Fund.

Compared with the Comrades - now in its 71st Running - the Children's Fund is very young. Born two years ago, it was initiated to lend urgency to the task of addressing the wrongs done to our youth and to help them prepare for a brighter tomorrow.

For me personally, it is one of the cruellest facets of South Africa's history that tens of thousands of young people who could otherwise have been developing their talents to the full and making a valuable contribution, are living a life on the margins of society.

In building a new South Africa, our children must be one of our highest priorities. They are the foundation on which our future is being built.

The Fund is a small but proud member of a partnership that unites all sectors of our society in pursuit of a noble ideal. The new relationships forged today enhance that partnership by bringing to it the wonderful spirit of the Comrades Marathon, and its inspiring display of striving for the peak of human potential.

Above all you have set a compelling example that higher achievements are open to us all. This gives momentum to a process that is just beginning, a process to be taken up by future Comrades Marathons : to help ensure the happiness and welfare of our children, today and in the future.

On behalf of the children of South Africa, whose need and promise is our driving force :

I thank you !

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Acquisition method: Hardcopy ; Source: ANC Archives, Office of the ANC President, Nelson Mandela Papers, University of Fort Hare. Accessioned on 26/01/2010 by Zintle Bambata




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