On 22 and 23 March 2018, a total of 250 schoolchildren received new Qhubeka Bicycles at Klein Nederburg High School in Paarl, in South Africa’s Western Cape province. These bicycles have been funded by Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka (113) and by the 2017 Absa Cape Epic teams who raced for Qhubeka (137).
“We really value the support of our Epic riders, who not only push themselves to the limit, but also put huge efforts into raising funds and awareness for Qhubeka,” says Qhubeka Executive Director, Tsatsi Phaweni. “The 50 bicycles being distributed today are part of the 137 bicycles raised by our 2017 Epic teams in total (the remaining bicycles were distributed at another event yesterday). This year’s riders have already funded more than 130 bicycles, which is an enormous achievement considering that the event is not yet finished.”
2018 rider Frederick Rossouw, riding with Warren Price as Team Sappi Qhubeka, says that it’s been a dream of his for years to take part in the Absa Cape Epic. “I could never fathom how I could ever achieve this. That being said, in late 2017 I was blessed with an opportunity to ride the Epic for the Qhubeka Charity. I couldn’t think of a more worthy cause that would give me the motivation required to complete this monumental challenge.”
Team Principal at Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka, Doug Ryder, who has been riding this year’s Epic with South African celebrity Jan Braai, says it’s always special to see how the cycling community – whether roadies or mountain bikers – come together to support Qhubeka.
“When Dimension Data for Qhubeka races, we ride for more than podiums and wins,” Ryder says. “We ride for Qhubeka. And the Epic teams that are doing the same will tell you that it gives such purpose to your race. Qhubeka shows us again and again how bicycles change lives. You can be part of changing even more lives – we’re asking everyone here today (riders and spectators alike) to help match the 50 bicycles being distributed today!”
The Qhubeka Bicycles distributed today will help their new riders to get to school, libraries and community services more quickly and regularly, and they will also be able to carry more. The children have earned their bicycles through a Qhubeka learn-to-earn programme implemented by the Western Cape Government: Health’s WesternCape on Wellness initiative, aka WoW!
The Wow! programme aims to improve learners’ mobility and health. Bicycle beneficiaries complete a basic first aid and road safety course by accredited training providers and commit to regular school attendance and improved academic performance.