Johannesburg celebrates full capacity race and 10 years with Laureus Sport for Good Foundation

JOHANNESBURG, March 23, 2023 – The J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge has persevered and fought its way back to full health.

Event owner and operator J.P. Morgan has announced that the 2023 Johannesburg race – scheduled for Thursday, March 30 at the historic Wanderers Club – has reached a full capacity of 14,000 entrants.

This is the first full-capacity event in the global J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series since September 4, 2019 in San Francisco. It was one of eight events in the 2019 Series to completely sell-out its available spots for walkers and runners.

The Corporate Challenge Series then took two sensible years off in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic before returning in 2022 with reduced-capacity races. The 2022 Johannesburg edition, for instance, had 5,817 entrants. Now this month’s race more than doubles that.

The restoring of the event’s capacity figure is a credit to the Johannesburg business community and its passion for the 3.5-mile (5.6km) race course and accompanying post-race hospitality and entertainment within the Wanderers Club.

And the full return of the Corporate Challenge is not all that will be celebrated on race night. It is also the 10th year of the beneficiary relationship between the Corporate Challenge and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation. It has been a relationship that has changed lives.

“Due to funding received by J.P. Morgan, we can provide more opportunities to our participants,” said Morne du Plessis, Laureus Chairman. “Laureus currently impacts thousands of kids through the power of sport in South Africa and significantly more around the world, and thanks to the generosity of J.P. Morgan, we can continue to effect positive change on these young lives.”

Deshun Deysel, who was part of the first South African expedition to Mount Everest in 1996, and now serves as a Laureus Sport for Good Ambassador, will gladly be on the Corporate Challenge starting line. She’s witnessed first-hand the impact the Corporate Challenge has made with Laureus.

“Because of the J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge, we literally have been able to take youngsters from grassroots level, where they learn literacy and have sporting activity combined, to adulthood,” Deysel told Moneyweb Radio. “One of our young people started at the age of eight and is now the head coach of women’s rugby at the University of Johannesburg. An example like this shows how Laureus uses sport to change lives and change the lives of others. Without the assistance of companies like J.P. Morgan, this is not possible.”

Deysel is one of a host of celebrated Johannesburg personalities who are scheduled to be on hand to mark the 10th year of the Corporate Challenge with Laureus. Among them are actor, businessman and philanthropist Maps Maponyane, media personalities John Robbie and Dan Nichol, mountaineer Saray Khumalo, former Springbok legend Butch James, former Proteas netballer Dumisani Chauke, Banyana Banyana Coach Desiree Ellis and former Banyana Banyana captain Amanda Dlamini.

The Ambassadors are scheduled to be joined on-site by Laureus’ South Africa leadership team, including du Plessis, and trustees Ntambi Ravele, Iain Banner, Alex Boavida and Abey Kgotle. It’s a wonderful sign of respect for a long-term relationship that defines the spirit of Johannesburg.

“Our Ambassadors are all community focused and whether it be a visit to a programme to inspire the youth or attending an event like the Corporate Challenge, Sport for Good is always the message being delivered,” said du Plessis.

The post-race entertainment within the Wanderers’ cricket ovals for the Corporate Challenge and Laureus will be headlined by four-time SA Music Awards winner, Shekhinah, whose “Trouble in Paradise” was the Best Pop Album in 2022. After Shekhinah’s performance, DJ Luis will take the stage to close out the evening.

It’s a night worthy of a capacity crowd. A formula J.P. Morgan has been delivering with the Corporate Challenge since its Johannesburg debut in 2004.

Johannesburg will be one of 15 cities in eight countries on six continents in the 2023 J.P. Morgan Corporate Challenge Series enjoying its 47th consecutive year of operation dating back to 1977, including two years of Virtual participation during COVID-19.