356 police officers also take part in Comrades

Henry

A total of 356 men and women in blue exchanged their boots for running shoes early on Sunday morning to participate in the 97th Comrades marathon.

Brig. Athlenda Mathe, national police spokesperson, says it is 156 more than last year’s 200 police officers who participated in the marathon – commonly known as the “Ultimate Human Race”.

“A total of 313 men and 43 women started early this morning for the grueling race. The police in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal have the most participants at this year’s marathon.”

General Fannie Masemola, national police commissioner, wished all the police officers participating in the Comrades marathon good luck on behalf of the police.

“Keeping fit is an inherent requirement for all police officers and therefore we encourage fitness in the organisation. Members are given time each week to train to ensure that our police officers are always ready to catch criminals. We have regular fitness assessments for our members to determine their level of fitness.”

Lt. Gen. Lineo Nkhoua, acting deputy national commissioner responsible for support services, says the organization will continue to provide the necessary support to ensure that police officers are mentally and physically healthy.

“Your mental and physical well-being is our number one priority. The management is here to support you, all we want from you is to be an ambassador for our powerful organization.

“We would like to thank all 356 participants for being the beacon of hope in our organization by showing many of our colleagues how fitness is achieved.

“We are behind you all the way, good luck and all the best!”

Lt. Gen. KZN Provincial Commissioner Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi assured participants and visitors to the province that visibility has been increased to ensure that residents, participants and visitors are safe.

“We can assure the people of KZN and participants that their safety is our number one priority. Through our weekly operations, police visibility has been increased. Our police officers are already on the ground to carry out roadblocks, as well as foot and air patrols.”