For more than half-a-century, the Black Sash has been helping people in tangible concrete ways realise their human rights. Formed in response to the discrimination practised by the apartheid government, today it still works to assist the downtrodden.
Starting at Manaye Hall in Imbali – where he gave his last speech as a free man – and ending at the Capture Site, where the Black Pimpernel was finally caught, the Mandela Day Marathon is symbolic of the triumph of the human spirit. There are also shorter distances, a trail run and mountain bike rides.
While most people are tucked up warmly indoors during winter, a group of dedicated extreme athletes is out riding the Freedom Challenge. The mountain bike race takes riders more than 2 000 kilometres across some of South Africa's harshest but most beautiful scenery.
The Natal Canoe Club, home of the world-famous Dusi Canoe Marathon, is making encouraging inroads with its development programme, which is making a big difference in the lives of children from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.