Every year, the Bonitas Radox iMfolozi Mountain Bike Challenge takes place in the historical Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal, and two days before this race, an event known as Big Day Out is organised for children residing in communities bordering the game reserve, like Mqondisi.
This year, 100 learners from 10 different schools were offered the Big Day Out experience thanks to sponsors Bonitas Medical Fund, Old Mutual and Coca-Cola. Learners had the opportunity to visit the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi park and learn about environmental issues and to compete in a 3km fun run challenge within the reserve.
The top six runners (three boys and three girls) were awarded with brand new Coca-Cola branded Qhubeka Buffalo Bicycles, sponsored by Coca-Cola. All participants were also given a backpack full of goodies.
Mqondisi is a Grade 7 pupil from one of the local schools and the winner of the fun run challenge. He is also the very proud new owner of a red Coca-Cola branded Qhubeka Buffalo Bicycle.
After the fun run, learners were divided into two groups and participated in different leadership activities. They then listened to a talk about the African Wild Dog, an endangered species in iMfolozi. The 19 educators accompanying the children took part in workshop called ‘’On the Money ’’, given by Old Mutual, and learnt about debt management.
The children were all very excited about the Big Day Out experience, as most had never had the opportunity to visit the reserve before.
“We are thankful to Coca-Cola, Bonitas and Old Mutual for making this event possible,” says Anthony Fitzhenry, director of Qhubeka. “This was a very special day for the children. I firmly believe the Coca-Cola branded Qhubeka Buffalo Bicycles will change the lives of the children who won them. With their own transport, they will be able to ride to school and use the bicycles to accomplish their chores. The smile on Mqondisi’s face says it all.”