On Sunday 4 October, people from all over the world joined the TAFISA World Walking Day - 24 Hours Around the Globe. This year's event was a historic first and brought a new dimension to the World Walking Day. Participants took a stand to show transnational solidarity against the COVID-19 pandemic by passing the baton across time-zones from east to west in a planet-wide relay. Dozens of thousands hailing from 63 countries on all continents took part and shared powerful messages of peace, access to sport and education for all, gender equality, health, and solidarity against COVID-19 among many other causes, working together to create the most inclusive and accessible 24-hour relay.
During the day, several thousands of participants joined the event and shared their participation through social media platforms, where they exchanged, encouraged each other and followed the baton as it made its way through time zones around the globe.
The World Walking Day started at 10am local time all around the planet, with Australia and Papua New Guinea starting the relay in Oceania and passing the baton across the ocean to Japan and Korea.
The baton continued its westward journey throughout the Asian continent, making stops in Macao, China, Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh and Kazakhstan among many other countries, while being passed through Russia's 11 time zones. Iran and Mauritius then entered the race and were quickly followed by Israel, Syria and Qatar, as well as Turkey who was part of the European Week of Sport and started connected the event with the #BeActive message, setting up the pace for its European neighbours.
Africa and Europe joined forces for a team effort which included, among many others, the likes of Albania, Kosovo, Namibia, Lesotho, France, Germany, South Africa, Mozambique, Serbia, Nigeria and Scotland passed the baton to Iceland and Togo to cast it across the Atlantic Ocean towards the American continent.
Brazil then picked up the baton and shared it with Barbados, Mexico, Dominican Republic and Panama. The baton then completed its world tour by moving across the USA and Canada.
The TAFISA World Walking Day managed to reach every single continent, as even Antarctica joined the adventure!
In total, the baton was passed in 63 countries:
Albania, Antarctica (Italy-France Station), Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Cayman Islands, China, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kosovo, Lesotho, Macao, China, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Zimbabwe.
TAFISA would like to shout a huge "Thank You!" to all those who made the event an unprecedented success, this would not have been possible without you all! The contributions and messages shared for the event were tremendous and TAFISA can only emphasise how proud and humbled the organisation is to see such dedication, commitment and enthusiasm from the Global Sport for All Movement. TAFISA is also grateful for the renowned ambassadors who offered their time and notoriety to help spread the word within their community; their special contributions will be highlighted in the special release due to be published in just a few days.