Red Socks run to support rape victim

2013-11-15 00:00

WEAR your red socks today and show your support for Pietermaritzburg’s victims of crime.

Residents committed to taking back Pietermaritzburg streets from criminals will participate in a Red Socks awareness support run to show solidarity for the doctor who was raped in Clarendon on Monday morning.

Concerned runners and walkers will meet at the start of the run at 5 pm to discuss joggers’ routes, groups and running schedules, following Wednesday night’s community meeting that sought to address safety concerns of runners in the area.

The 4,65 km run, organised by Sam and Robyn Hamman, will start at 5.30 pm, from the Pot Belly Pinter parking lot in Roberts Road, going into Villiers Drive, Voortrekker Road, Dan Pienaar Drive, Roberts, Kitchener, Taunton roads and back into Roberts Road.

“Let’s take back our streets and wear your red socks if you can,” said Sam Hamman.

He said after the rape, his wife Robyn, a sports coach, came up with the idea of getting a few people to join in their normal Red Socks Friday run. Sam said he never expected the phenomenal interest and support.

“We have more people taking part in the run than we anticipated and had to get the go-ahead from the police and other authorities,” said Sam.

Red Socks Friday, and the unique war cry of “Shoooops”, is a movement dedicated to making a difference, being passionate, inspiring others, staying positive, remembering friends and expressing yourself.

Launched in South Africa in April 2010 by John McInroy, proceeds from the sale of red socks — which the owners are expected to wear on Fridays — go to charity.

The Red Socks Friday movement has since gone international, and more than 20 000 pairs of red socks have been sold worldwide.

According to the “I wear red socks on Friday” Facebook page, Red Socks Friday has its origins in World War 2. South African Sidney Feinson and two friends, after having escaped from a prisoner-of-war camp in Italy following their capture during the siege of Tobruk, pledged to wear red socks as a gesture of friendship, unity and remembrance in memory of lost friends and comrades who had not escaped, and those who had fallen in battle.

The Witness will be distributing more whistles at the run. On Wednesday, The Witness distributed 200 whistles to runners and community members who attended the joggers’ meeting.

“The Witness is part of this community and our role is not to simply report on it but to be involved wherever possible to help make a difference. We are inspired by this community’s drive to make our streets safer after the terrible crime committed earlier this week and we will continue to throw our support and influence behind this campaign,” said Witness editor Andrew Trench.

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