Cheques to the value of R60,000 were handed over to six schools who hosted Cape Pioneer Trek participants during last year’s race.
“It is an honour to donate R10,000 to each of these schools,” said Kevin Evans at a function at Buffelsdrift Game Lodge on Tuesday evening. Evans and teammate David George, both from Team 360Life, last year’s winners, who initiated the fundraising.
Half the money was collected by auctioneering off six cycle jerseys donated by the team, while the rest was provided by their sponsor, Nedgroup Life, who pledged to doubled any amount raised by the auction.
“We have a philosophy of wellness,” said Palesa Mabaso, marketing manager of Nedgroup Life, who travelled from Durban to hand over the cheques.
“With this donation we want to express our policy of not being interested only in banking, but also in the wellbeing of communities.”
Evans said as a participant he would like to give something back to the communities they encountered during the six-day tour.
“Albertinia was an outstanding example of rural hospitality. When a storm flattened our tents, they provided shelter in their classrooms.”
Headmaster Dennis Karelse, who received the cheque, said some of the money would be used to fix the school’s intercom system. “We usually end our school day with Scripture reading and prayer, but have not been able to do so since our intercom system packed up. With this money we can have it fixed – we knew God would provide the means.”
Albertinia High, with 526 pupils ranging from grade R to grade 12, and 19 teachers, hosted the cyclists on the 4th stage between Riversdale and Albertinia.
“We did not become involved in the race for financial gain. I grasp every occasion to enrich our pupils’ lives. This race taught them responsibility and respect, and it was an excellent team building exercise which knitted us into a close unit.”
He said the race provided much needed money for poor schools such as his. “It provided the necessary funds at the right time to see us through the rest of the year.”
Other schools who received R10,000 each, were Oudtshoorn High School, Calitzdorp High, Oakdale Agricultural High in Riversdale, Milkwood Primary in Mossel Bay, and Van Kervel Vaardigheidskool in George.