Yesterday afternoon the contestants took on the 10 Tonne Challenge; a 67 minute event which required strength, stamina and above all, team work. The setting was the Kings Garden; a popular 17 acre plot along Southport’s promenade, one of the focal points of the town. The task; to carry out the annual replenishment of the garden’s flowerbeds.
Why 67 minutes? This challenge was also a way of giving back to the community which has hosted the contestants during their time at Mr World, and it was decided that the event would run for a total time of 67 minutes in honour of "67 Minutes for Mandela", an annual event celebrating the lifes work of Nelson Mandela.
Nelson Mandela's birthday is on 18 July, and the call is out for people everywhere to celebrate his birthday by acting on the idea that each person has the power to change the world. With the contestants at a critical stage of rehearsals that day, they performed their task early, harnessing their collective power to transform the Southport community's focal point in 67 minutes.
Every summer, a team of gardeners are drafted in to refill the flower beds dotted around the park. This task usually takes the team a whole week to carry out. Today it would be done in 67 minutes! Split into their 4 teams, the Mr World contestants were each given an assortment of garden tools and a 10 tonne pile of mulch. Each wheelbarrow full of mulch was counted by an adjudicator, and a team of experts assessed the delivery and spreading of the mulch into the flowerbeds.
After the 67 minutes were up the adjudicators counted up the wheelbarrows. It was very close with Yellow and Blue tying with Green not far behind, but after factoring in the skills in laying out the mulch, it was Green who shot right up and came joint first with Blue team, with Yellow third and Red fourth.
Senior Parks Officer for the area Martin Sarbutts was there to speak to the guys, and was very impressed with the speed and level of team work he saw on display, and announced to the guys that the hours which would have been spent by his gardeners in spreading the mulch would now be spent volunteering for the local elderly who need their gardens tidied up! Everyone wins!
Speaking about the 67 minutes Mandela, South Africa's Armand Du Plessis “Nelson Mandela Day is an international day celebrated by giving 67 minutes of your time by doing good within the community. The 67 minutes represent Mandela’s years which he served South Africa, from his first appointment in office to his final day on Earth. For me, it’s quite a special day having all my fellow contestants taking part in this with me."
South Africa's Armand with lady Graca Machel, the former First Lady of South Africa and other volunteers at the launch of Mandela Day 2016 at Dr Mathole Motshekga Primary School.
Armand: "I wanted to do something for Mandela Day on the 18th which is the day before the final, but I am so grateful that the Mr World Organisation took the initiative in combining one of our challenges together with this annual event. I hope this has inspired others in nations around the world to also do good in their communities.”
The results of the challenge will go towards the overall team scores in Mr World 2016.