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23 February 2021

Rustenburg – Every day we put one foot in front of another to get from one place to the next. Walking is excellent exercise and refreshes the mind and soul but for 70-year-old Martin Bergh of Rustenburg, it is also a way to raise funds for Spes Bona and Rustenburg Skool vir Buitengewone Onderwys. He was inspired by the 50 million steps campaign for epilepsy where a step is taken for every person affected by epilepsy in the world. The campaign is managed by an office in Dublin, Ireland and started on Monday 4 January and ended on Monday 8 February International Epilepsy Day. “The reason for my charity walks is in memory of my daughter. She was born with cerebral palsy and passed away due to epileptic seizures. You couldn’t give her a plastic spoon to eat from without her trying to chew it off, so we had no choice but to feed her through a pipe,” recalls Martin. 


 “There were many times I would just get up and start walking for hours on end,” he said. “My motivation for walking is so that I can live my life outdoors. It takes discipline to walk that far. While you are walking you can just admire nature. The one thing you should never focus on is the distance you are walking. That starts to slow you down. All you need is a water bottle, good walking shoes and endurance.”


His all-time best for a single day walk totalled 63km and was a roundtrip from his home on the Donkerhoek road to the Marikana toll gate and back. It was done on the summer solstice the longest day of the year and took 11 hours and 46 minutes at an average speed of 4.8 km/h. For now, Martin is sticking to day trips so you may see his camper van parked at the foot of the Magaliesberg mountain. 


To support a charity walk contact Brenda Klopper 
on 072 356 8781.

Martin Bergh has tallied many kilometres walking in Africa, Europe, and Thailand.

 

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