Endurance riders help break poverty cycle

Pietermaritzburg cyclist, Tessa Hesse, wins a Raleigh ‘Duo’ Tandem bicycle for raising the most funds in the Ride for MRP Foundation.
Pietermaritzburg cyclist, Tessa Hesse (centre), wins a Raleigh 'Duo' Tandem bicycle for raising the most funds in the Ride for MRP Foundation.

Tessa Hesse (centre), proudly sits atop a Raleigh ‘Duo’ presented to her after she personally raised the most funds, R85,000, in the Ride for MRP Foundation. Pictured with Hesse, are Dale Spencer (Principal, Barclays Africa Corporate and Investment Banking), Natasja Ambrosio (MRP Foundation Director), Kelvin du Sart (Westville Cycle Club Chairman) and Lyle Nesbitt (Raleigh Regional Sales Manager).


13 January 2017. The Ride for MRP Foundation supported by Absa, an epic 660km cycle journey from Johannesburg to Durban (27 – 28 November), raised over half a million rand to assist MRP Foundation in breaking the cycle of poverty and inequality in South Africa through its expansive programmes in education and skills development.

Tessa Hesse was part of the 43-strong peloton that overcame an extreme electric thunderstorm, an intense heatwave and a forced detour due to protest action and the immense strain that comes with cycling 24 hours over two days. Despite the challenges she took the cause of the endurance ride to heart and raised R85,000 for the ride, winning herself a Raleigh Tandem Duo Bike.

“This event reminded why I ride – it’s all about the physical and spiritual journey and friendships forged with the same goal in mind. I’m absolutely humbled by the faith that people had in me that they donated so willingly. It takes an organisation such as MRP Foundation, Event Director Kelvin Du Sart and so many others to show us how to help, even in just the smallest of ways. 

The Tandem Bike will be used for the Gabran Choc event and displayed at the Cadence Studio in Pietermaritzburg as a reminder to all of our members that we’re so blessed to have the financial and physical means to partake in this sport and to give, whether it be through time, efforts or finances.”

Lyle Nesbitt from Raleigh South Africa also participated in the gruelling ride and highlighted the brand’s support for the MRP Foundation.

“Raleigh SA are proud supporters of the work done by the MRP Foundation and we chose to partner with them to relaunch the Raleigh Tandem Duo within South Africa. Being able to cycle from Johannesburg to Durban in two days and knowing that we all have made a difference to the lives of those who benefit from the work done by the MRP Foundation has been some of my highlights from the event.”

Thanks to the overwhelming support of cyclists, donors and sponsors, the annual epic cycle challenge exceeded all expectations and superseded its super target of half a million Rand; raising R530 000 for the MRP Foundation’s programmes in education and skills development.

Since launching its programmes in 2008 MRP Foundation has kick-started thousands of careers while unlocking hundreds of millions of rands into the pockets of South Africa’s youth. They’ve helped well over 18,000 unemployed youth gain invaluable work experience with over 8,000 finding employment.

Courageous cyclists proudly sported different colour jerseys, each hue representing how many times they’ve completed the arduous ride. First and second-time riders rode in white, third and four-time cyclists in pink, fifth-time riders in green and the cyclist who completed the ride seven times rode in yellow.

The Absa red jersey was worn by the cyclist who raised the most funds, with Clynt Lund wearing the coveted jersey at this year’s ride and Tessa Hess donning the jersey for the 2017 edition. Cyclists Nigel Payne (Chairman, MRP Group Limited), David Yapp (Durban media personality), Natasja Ambrosio (Director of the MRP Foundation) also raised in excess of R50,000 each, an incredible achievement.

Exciting plans are already in motion for next year’s event with momentum continuing to build towards the tenth edition or ‘Golden Year’ in 2019.

MRP Foundation would like to wholeheartedly thank all the cyclists, supporters and the sponsors Absa, SPAR, Deloitte, Defy, CMH Nissan Durban, Raleigh, Finance Spec, KTM Durban, Zebbies and Cyclesphere.


You can continue to pledge your support for the Ride for MRP Foundation by SMS’ing the word “mrpf” to 38417 and a donation of R10.00 will be made.

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