On the 2nd October, over 15,000 people participated in the third annual South African Big Walk community event. The Big Walk is sponsored by the South African Department of Sports and Recreation and is rolled out across all provinces in South Africa. 

In Gauteng (the province that includes Johannesburg and Pretoria), the Big Walk was supported by Coca-Cola South Africa and local bottling partner Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa in partnership with the Gauteng Provincial Government. Participants had the opportunity to choose to walk either 5, 10 or 15 kilometres around historical and national monuments in Pretoria, South Africa’s capital, and enjoy the Coca-Cola branding and activations. 

In recognition of World Walking Day, the aim of the event was to promote walking as a leisurely activity suitable to the young and elderly and encourage movement as part of day to day lifestyle. The event is unique in that it is the only national physical activity event that is free for the whole family to enjoy. It also helped to promote social cohesion between government, Coca-Cola and communities. In the previous year, Coca-Cola received the award for best private sector partner with the Department of Sports & Recreation for the Big Walk event. The award was well received by Coca-Cola, and it served as motivation to further its support for the Big Walk  

The Minister of Sports and Recreation, Fikile Mbalula stated that the Big Walk plays an important role in getting all communities across South Africa, no matter the age or background, involved in physical activity. “We have worked with The Association for International Sport for All (TAFISA) to ensure that this activity is accessible to every in South Africa. That’s why we’ve made it free of charge, with the help of partners like Coca-Cola,” he concluded.

Vukani Magubane, Public Affairs and Communications Director for Coca-Cola Southern & East Africa Business Unit (SEABU) stated that “the Big Walk is a partnership that connects us with government stakeholders as well as communities where the company operates. Through the Big Walk event, we’ve been able to get communities to exercise while enjoying our refreshing drinks”.

All participants received goodie bags and medals as a token of their participation.  In addition to offering hydration along the routes, CCBSA played a key role in branding the event and offering entertainment by means of the famous Coca-Cola a Gig-Rig.