5 November 2012

Every year since receiving an invitation from the New York Achilles Track Club in 1999, Ethembeni has sent disabled student runners to run the New York City Marathon.  Traveling and meeting New Yorkers is both a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the students and a fundraising opportunity for Ethembeni.

Ethembeni School has since helped establish the South African Achilles Chapter and has assisted other disabled runners from Cape Town, Soweto, Botswana and Namibia to participate in this world-class event.

The marathon was supposed to go on. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a press conference on Friday, 2 November 2012 that the ING New York City Marathon would lift New Yorkers' spirits following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, much like it did after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.  However, late that afternoon, the city decided to cancel the marathon.  "Its clear that the best thing for New York and the best thing for the marathon and the future is, unfortunately, to move on,” said Mary Wittenberg, Director of the marathon.  "This isn’t the year or the time to run it.  It’s crushing and really difficult.   One of the toughest decisions we ever made.”

Left to right: Consul General George Monyemangene, Braam Mouton and Consul Gugulethu Gingqi.