The City of Cape Town’s Recreation and Parks Department has joined forces with the Cape Province Mountain Club to increase participation from local communities in the 18km Table Mountain Hiking Challenge (TMHC) taking place on 24 September 2022 as part of Heritage month. A group of young people, mostly from Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain, completed a training hike this weekend in preparation for the main event.
This training session was the second instalment, with a final scheduled in two weeks’ time, just before the big hike. Although the first group wasn’t able to cover the full 18 kilometre trail, they covered parts of the same route.
‘We’re delighted to see that this weekend everyone made it successfully to the top and back. Hiking is a good cardiovascular exercise, while also providing mental and emotional benefits. It gives our young people an opportunity to step away from their stress, unplug from technology and commune with nature,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia van der Ross.
Participants were asked to complete tasks and answer a list of questions about the hike as part of their environmental education.
The Cape Province Mountain Club was established in 1931, and launched their hiking challenge in 2011, as an outreach project in disadvantaged communities.
The event was suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic. It usually has two entry categories: an outreach category for students and a paid entry event for more serious athletes/hikers.
The reason for the paid segment of the event is to sustain the outreach programme.
This year sees the return of the student segment.
The objectives of the event are:
- To stimulate a sense of adventure and discovery in the youth
- Promote good health and wellbeing
- Environmental awareness and education on how to safely explore hiking trails
- Promote an appreciation for the City’s natural attractions
- Social cohesion – bringing novice hikers from different backgrounds together
About 120 youth signed up to be a part of training hikes and the TMHC.
‘Hiking is a fun and relaxing way to experience the great outdoors and allows you to explore parts of nature where vehicles can’t go. I encourage our young people to consider hiking as an exercise, but at the same time to ensure they do so safely. Join a hiking club and if you’re just starting out, do not walk on your own,’ said Councillor Van der Ross.