Campus highlights

14 November 2005

Indoor triathlon for scholarship fund

The Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA) will host its second MSM TriMarathon on December 10 to raise funds for the Ziphelele Mbambo Memorial Scholarship Fund. Last year, a group of athletes competed throughout the night and raised a total of R8 000 for the fund.

This year the format of the event has been shaken up a bit with spot prizes being allocated randomly over the 12-hour period and companies being invited to sponsor the nine athletes who will complete the full 12-hour event.

That doesn't mean that only nine athletes will be able to participate. A series of eight consecutive one-and-a-half-hour time slots will see as many people as possible swimming, cycling and running in the Sport Science Fitness Centre throughout the night.

"We were looking to organise an indoor triathlon with a difference, says Colleen Jacka, editor of MSM: Multi-Sport Magazine, "and last year the opportunity to create the TriMarathon event and link it to a worthy cause presented itself."

SSISA is appealing to companies, especially those in the sporting sector, to get behind an athlete and sponsor them for the full 12 hours. Organisers are also looking for some good prizes to make the event more worthwhile for all participating athletes. Only two athletes completed the full 12 hours last year, but many others notched up as many as six hours in the fitness centre - opting to get a little shuteye between their sessions. Any level of athlete or non-athlete can participate as there are no real rules about using flotation devises in the pool, walking across the length of the pool or taking a leisurely stroll and cycle.

The Ziphelele Mbambo Memorial Scholarship Fund was founded in memory of the promising postgraduate student who was killed in a carjacking just a week before his wedding. The scholarship aims to encourage students from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue their studies in the field of exercise science or biokinetics. For more information about the event call Colleen Jacka on 082 895 4833.

Stem cell seminar

Researchers will gather on November 17 and 18 at the BMW Pavilion at the Waterfront to discuss new developments and ethical issues around the therapeutic use of adult stem cells.

The most common source of adult stem cells is bone marrow but they are also found in most tissues of the body, with the possible exception of the brain. Bone marrow transplants from a matched donor have been used in South Africa for roughly 40 years to treat leukaemia and lymphomas, but the range of potential uses for adult stem cells is enormous.

In South Africa, stem cells taken from peripheral muscle have already been used to repair ischaemic damage to heart tissue in patients who have experienced several heart attacks. There are many options and many areas that require discussion and regulation.

Anyone wishing to attend should contact Dr Campbell Macfarlane for the full programme.

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