91 year old launches “Touchdown Challenge” to raise funds for needy



91 year old veteran business titan launches the
“Touchdown Challenge” to raise funds for needy.
Nonagenarians Solly Krok and Barney Gordon
determined to make a positive impact

One of South Africa’s most well-known nonagenarians, Solly Krok (91) has launched his latest goodwill venture. Dubbed the Touchdown Challenge, his goal is to touch his toes within the next six weeks. Proving once again, that age is just a number, he has committed to raise funds to provide food for vulnerable people in South Africa. To achieve this, Krok’s fundraising organisation Keep the Wolf from the Door, has partnered with social impact organization, Afrika Tikkun.

Realizing that many people stop exercising as they get older, himself included, Krok aims to prove to elderly people that they can reach a position of flexibility and balance if they exercise regularly. His coach in this endeavour is none other than his lifelong 98 year old friend, Barney Gordon.  

The two gentlemen will have a combined age of 190 by the end of May. Gordon has had 25 major operations but attributes his stable health to his commitment to exercising regularly. Krok had a botched knee operation at the age of 20, and a hip operation eight years ago. Additionally, he fell two weeks ago, tore a muscle and bruised two ribs. Yet, he remains committed to regular, gentle exercise.

In the past few weeks, Gordon has been helping Krok do simple exercises at regular intervals, to carefully build up his range of movement. Both Gordon and Krok agree that one’s legs are key to longevity and both have become regular walkers.

Inspired by the late British army veteran, Sir Tom Moore who raised GBP 38 million for charity in the United Kingdom and seeing the devastation that the Covid pandemic caused in South Africa, last year Krok did a symbolic walk to raise funds. After being encouraged by Adrian Gore, Chief Executive of Discovery, Krok eventually walked 91 kms in total, leading up to his 91st birthday. The Touchdown Challenge will build on that success and continue his legacy of using his voice to make a difference.

“So many South Africans live in tremendous poverty. The sad thing is the pandemic has worsened this for many people with job losses, and companies scaling down”

said Krok.

“Through the Touchdown Challenge, I hope I can inspire others to make even a small donation as every bit helps. Additionally, I encourage elderly people to keep exercising”

he added. 

Not only is Krok known for his multiple business successes and being instrumental in the development of the pharmaceutical industry, but also as the man behind the creation of the iconic Apartheid Museum and known for his commitment to philanthropy over the years. From building a school in Soweto, to funding various educational institutions, his generosity and kind-heartedness knows no end. In an interview during his 90th birthday celebrations, Krok recalled having asked a Rabbi many years ago what he should teach his children. The Rabbi responded with three pearls of wisdom “Example, example, example!” This is what inspires Solly’s life ethos.



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