When the doctor told a woman from Bonteheuwel, Soraya Salie, that there was no hope for her, after she had had a tumour removed from her brain, she just wouldn’t accept that. So she started to walk in her neighbourhood and also started to eat more healthily. And then she encouraged more people in Bonteheuwel to go walking with her, in this quest for a better quality life.
That was the start of the Bonteheuwel Walking Bus initiative, a group of ladies getting together twice a week for exercises in the local community hall and who also walk the streets of the neighbourhood in their quest, to live a healthier life. This was also more than 10 years ago and to this day, Soraya Salie is still walking the streets of her beloved neighbourhood.
Recently the walking club was awarded a Gold Community Club Award in the provincial government Western Cape-on-Wellness initiative. They received a prize of R32 500. Salie jokingly told Smile 90.4fm, that that amount is so big, she could scarely pronounce the amount. They decided to buy 100 tracksuits for their over 100 members and also a speaker system and office equipment. They use the office equipment to make copies of ID’s amongst other things for their members. The speakers, which they used to hire before, are used at their twice-weekly training sessions.
Everyone is welcome to attend these sessions Mondays and Wednesdays 9.15am to 11.15am at the Bonteheuwel community hall. There is no cost involved. “There you can spend some quality time with yourself and have some fun,” says Salie.
The group of 120 ladies are mostly grandmothers, with women being over the ages of 70 and 80 years.
“To this day I am still walking with a tumour on my brain BUT the fact is that I am walking and I am exercising and we remain positive and that is the message that I want to bring to the world. Irrespective of what the doctor says, which condition you have, get up and while you have breath in your body, there is hope and make the best of it” Salie added.