Pedalling against poverty

Deemed as South Africa’s toughest cycle ride, the 2018 ride with purpose from Secunda to Durban has thus far raised over R1.5 million for MRP Foundation’s education and skills development programmes, which empower thousands of young South Africans to help break the cycle of poverty and inequality.

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The Bulletin News

Ride for MRP Foundation rallies cyclists to raise funds and awareness to break the cycle of poverty and inequality in South Africa.
Extreme heat, mental and physical fatigue and a total of 26 hours of cycling time over two days did not deter the spirits of 72 cyclists as they banded together to complete the ninth edition of the 606 km Ride for MRP Foundation.
Deemed as South Africa’s toughest cycle ride, the 2018 ride with purpose from Secunda to Durban has thus far raised over R1.5 million for MRP Foundation’s education and skills development programmes, which empower thousands of young South Africans to help break the cycle of poverty and inequality.
The ninth annual athletic challenge consisted of the largest peloton to date including South African Rugby Legends Stefan Terblanche and Wayne Fyvie, as well as South African triathlete Mhlengi Gwala who made international headlines earlier this year when his legs were nearly sawed off in a gruesome attack whilst on an early morning training session. In addition, individuals and teams comprising of masters, juniors, women and development riders, as well as the first international rider, took to the roads.
Kicking off from the new starting point of Secunda, courageous riders pedalled to the new finish line at CMH Nissan Durban in the bustling eThekwini city centre.
Stage 1 of the fundraiser saw cyclists tackle 346 km from Secunda to Ladysmith and braving fourteen hours of gruelling cycling time, temperatures exceeding 43 degrees celsius and successfully manoeuvering the 7000 foot arduous Majuba Pass. The second stage from Ladysmith to Durban once again tested the cyclist’s endurance, with soaring temperatures and 260 km completed.
This was the first major event for South African triathlete Mhlengi Gwala since his brutal attack earlier this year in which he nearly lost his legs. Although doctors advised that he would not be able to participate in any sports for two years, Gwala tackled the Ride for MRP Foundation just a few months after the attack.
Commenting on his second Ride for MRP Foundation, Gwala said, “I have been training since I left the hospital and the support from friends and family keeps me going. What’s great about the Ride for MRP Foundation is that it’s not a race but a group ride. Day one was difficult but day two was better. Although it was tough, I came with the mentality that we are riding with a cause — to fight poverty — this was my motivation on the road.”
It was SA Rugby Legend Stefan Terblanche’s first ride and he was elated to have finished it. “It’s a tough ride with 14 hours (stage 1) and 12 hours (stage 2) in the saddle over the two days through wind and heat but it was great and it’s all for a good cause.”
Lindokuhle Mabika was both nervous and excited for her first ride.“I feel privileged to be one of the fifteen women riders in this event. I know a lot of women would love to do the ride but they think they can’t because there are so many mental and social barriers. I want to show them that if I can do it they can do it. It wasn’t easy but every time I started regretting my decision I persevered because of the reason I decided to ride in the first place, to make a difference.”
Stuart Bird, Mr Price Group CEO, has served MRP Foundation for many years and has watched it grow from strength to strength. “I never thought the ride would get to this size where it can raise close to R2 million. It’s an incredibly well-organised event at a large scale and those that participate bring so much to the party in terms of raising funds.”
Natasja Ambrosio, MRP Foundation Director, shared their heart behind the ride, to raise funds and awareness for MRP Foundation. “In 2005 we had a dream to impact this nation, specifically the children and youth with potential and it took a team to organise the MRP Foundation. In 2009 there was a group of riders who had a dream to impact the young people of this country. Thank you to everyone that rallied around us. Since 2007 over 30,000 unemployed youth have been upskilled through our Jump Start work readiness programme with 13,000 job placements in retail and supply chain.”
The 2018 Ride for MRP Foundation together with its partners who aim to break the cycle of poverty and inequality in South Africa are : Absa, CMH Nissan Durban, SPAR, Maxed, Expand-a-Sign, City Logistics, Zapper, Trader Plus, Corruseal, KTM, Westville Cycle Club, Giant, Cyclesphere, SA Rugby Legends and Hirt and Carter.

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