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Riding for Good at the Absa Cape Epic

2019-02-28
The Absa Cape Epic boasts five official charities – which are particularly close to the hearts of the event organisers – and provides the platform for a number of others to raise valuable funds to continue their good work. The five official charities are The Anna Foundation, the Cape Leopard Trust, the IRONMAN Foundation in partnership with IRONMAN4theKidz, Laureus - Sport for Good Foundation, and Qhubeka. Each of these charities will be raising funds through riders representing them in the 2019 edition of the Untamed African Mountain Bike Race. 
 
Qhubeka is not only one of South Africa’s most prominent charities but also the charity with the most obvious natural ties to the race. This year the charity that attests to the fact that “bicycles change lives” has five official teams riding to raise funds for Qhubeka bikes. Three of the teams are from Belgium, one is from the United Kingdom and the final is a local South African team. The funds brought in through the sale of entries to the teams and other fundraising initiatives implemented by the riders will be used to produce and distribute specially designed commuter bicycles to deserving community residents. These bicycles are a tool in addressing and alleviating poverty because they provide access to education and job opportunities.
 
If the Qhubeka riders reach their fundraising targets they will be bringing in about R400 000, which in turn allows the charity to distribute at least 120 bicycles. Based on Qhubeka’s research each bicycle they award improves the lives of at least five family members; so the ten riders will have the pleasure of knowing that their Absa Cape Epic fundraising will improve the lives of 600 people.
 
Though the Laureus - Sport for Good Foundation only has one team riding in their colours at the 2019 Absa Cape Epic the charity is excited by the opportunity to extend their support to smaller organisations. In 2018 Laureus trained 135 individuals from various charitable organisations in fundraising, facilitation, monitoring, evaluation and learning and collective impact. Their 2019 riding representatives hail from Brazil, a fellow developing nation, so they understand the social needs and the importance for larger charities like Laureus to leverage their profile in support of grassroots programmes. 
 
The Anna Foundation focuses its efforts on young South Africans from historically disadvantaged regions of the Western Cape. Through their Three-R’s programmes they empower rural children with life skills and core values, building self-worth and self-responsibility. In 2019 they have two teams representing the charity at the race, one local and the second from Europe’s cycling heartland; Flanders in Belgium. 
Along with their activations of bringing children from the rural communities to the race to watch the action live they will be inducting one hundred new beneficiaries into the Anna Foundation support system by end 2019. The charity is currently focusing its efforts on the rural areas of the Langeberg Municipality, a region which hosted the Untamed African Mountain Bike Race for three nights in 2018. They are also up-skilling and empowering The Anna Foundation development riders to enter more mountain biking events, with an eye on one day competing in the Exxaro Special Jersey category in the Absa Cape Epic. 
 
With the 2019 Absa Cape Epic route crossing through the mountains inhabited by the illusive Cape Leopard it is fitting that the Cape Leopard Trust continues its involvement with the race. “The overarching vision of the Cape Leopard Trust is to ensure the survival of leopards in partnership with people, so the Absa Cape Epic offers a wonderful platform for us to raise awareness,” CEO, Helen Turnbull explained. For this year’s edition of the race the Cape Leopard Trust will be represented by two teams, but perhaps most informatively for fans of the race one of the trust’s researchers will be a route tour host. Boland study area, which includes the Elgin and Stellenbosch regions incorporated in the 2019 route, researcher Jeannie Hayward will be imparting her expert knowledge of the region’s largest predator and other fauna and flora during the race’s route tours. 
 
The final official charity of the Absa Cape Epic is the IRONMAN Foundation in partnership with IRONMAN4theKidz. The IRONMAN Foundation raises funds for smaller charities and over the last few years has provided charities in the towns the Absa Cape Epic visits with the chance to pitch for a portion of the money the IRONMAN Foundation raised. In 2019 the addition of the IRONMAN4theKidz the focus has shifted to providing for less fortunate children in South Africa. The charity provides funds to support local education charities and feeding programmes, which in turn improve the lives of young people from previously disadvantaged communities. 
 
Along with the official charities a number of teams and individuals are also making use of the Absa Cape Epic platform to raise funds and awareness for worthy causes. These include cancer charities; CANSA, CHOC and ILoveBoobies; education and sport’s programmes like songo.info; and those seeking to raise awareness of rare medical conditions, like the STXBP1 Syndrome Association. To contribute to any of the official of affiliated charities please visit www.cape-epic.com, or click here. Alternatively visit www.givengain.com and search 2019 Absa Cape Epic. 

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