When hundreds of healthy children hop on their bicycles to join the fun of The Herald VW Cycle Tour next year, they will be helping other kids too sick to do so.
Reach for a Dream – the charity that makes dreams come true for youngsters with life-threatening illnesses – will be the beneficiary of Powerade’s Family Challenge (30km), Kiddies’ Challenge (3km) and Toddlers’ Dash (600m) at Hobie Beach in Port Elizabeth on February 5.
“Reach for a Dream is all about children and families and for us that link is important,” said PE branch manager Inge Human.
She said their participation in the road race was invaluable from both a fundraising and awareness perspective as the global recession had impacted on donor funding.
Human was speaking at the Protea Hotel Marine last week where five- year-old Alyssa’s dream of owning a pink bicycle was realised.
According to Shane Bradfield, race director of The Herald VW Cycle Tour, volunteers from the organisation would man the bright yellow registration gazebo on race day, act as marshals and supervise the children’s play area.
“These are people who give everything and don’t expect anything in return,” said Bradfield. “This is our way of saying thanks for the work they do as well as giving them some additional exposure.”
Events and outings co-ordinator Michelle van Huyssteen said the money from the entries would be used to fulfil dreams in the new financial year.
“We cover the region from PE to George and realise about 120 dreams per year.” She said they helped children aged three to 18 regardless of socio-economic status.
Reach for a Dream’s Jabulani hospital entertainer Teaspoon, who was a hit when he jumped on a bicycle to start the Kiddies’ Challenge last year, will once again keep the little ones entertained.
Participants will receive medals and goodie bags.
Powerade, the tour’s official drinks sponsor, has extended its involvement to title sponsor of the children’s events in 2011.
“We have been involved with the race since its inception and have seen the kiddies’ races grow rapidly,” said special events team leader Danny Williams.
“The cycle tour has a family atmosphere, which is what our company is all about. Powerade is now preservative-free and a healthy alternative for active people of all ages.”
Entries for the 30km Powerade Family Challenge cost R50 per person, while the fees for the 3km Powerade Kiddies’ Challenge and 600m Toddlers’ Dash are R30.
The 105km feature race takes place on Sunday, February 6, with the mountain bike events the day before at Addo.
Register online at www.heraldcycletour.co.za or collect an entry form from any cycling shop in Nelson Mandela Bay.
Supporting sponsors are: Boardwalk Casino & Entertainment World, Life St George’s Hospital, Mountain Rescue Club, Gardmed, Powerade, Tony’s Appliances and Beds, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Bukani Print, Town Lodge, Addo Elephant National Park and Action Cycles.