SA Rugby Legends Tackle Cycle Challenge

SA’s sporting legends are tackling the gruelling Ride for MRP Foundation supported by Absa to champion skills development and education.
South Africa’s sporting legends are tackling the gruelling Ride for MRP Foundation supported by Absa to champion skills development and education.

CYCLING WITH PURPOSE: (Pictured left to right) Jeremy Thomson, John Smit, Craig Jones (IDAT International Holdings), Wayne Fyvie, Dale Spencer (Principal, Barclays Africa) and Kelvin du Start (Westville Cycle Club Chairman). Photograph: TIM LUBBE / MRP FOUNDATION


Tackling a ride with purpose is the main reason South Africa’s rugby legends, John Smit, Jeremy Thomson and Wayne Fyvie will join a passionate group of cyclists for SA’s toughest two-day stage ride, a gruelling 604 km ride from Johannesburg to Durban (December 3 – 4) to raise funds and awareness for MRP Foundation.

The sporting greats will be cycling in the largest peloton to date, limited to 50 courageous cyclists, who have all committed to work as a team to cycle the taxing distance and call attention to two of South Africa’s most pressing challenges, youth unemployment and access to quality education.

As a rookie cyclist in the Ride for MRP Foundation, Smit, who led the Springboks to their second Rugby World Cup win against England in France 2007, will be cycling in the multi-coloured peloton wearing a white Jersey and not his familiar Green and Gold. Third and fourth-time cyclists will ride in pink, fifth or more riders in green, the most rides in yellow and the cyclist who raised the most funds in 2016 will wear the ABSA Red Jersey.

Spurred on by the event’s true purpose, to break the cycle of poverty and inequality in South Africa, Smit decided to put his body on the line for the Ride for MRP Foundation:

“It’s best not to think of the distance but rather the idea of being on the saddle the whole day; I’m going to have to do a fair bit of riding through winter to make sure I’m not too heavy by December! Although it’s a daunting proposal, by looking at the difference already made by those committed one feels compelled to jump on board and try assist in any way or form. We have an amazing country with great people and many of them need our help.”

Cyclists participating in the epic annual challenge have raised well over One Million Rand for MRP Foundation since the inaugural ride in 2010 and an ambitious fundraising target of One Million Rand, a goal Karen Wells, MRP Foundation Manager, is excited about hopefully reaching:

“As a youth development organisation we aim to empower South Africa’s youth through innovative education and skills development programmes. We believe every young person should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential and since 2008 we’ve trained well over 22,000 previously unemployed youth through our skills development programmes, with over 11,000 of them finding employment in the retail and supply chain sectors. The funds from the ride will make a huge difference in enabling us to continue empowering our  youth as they journey from school into a career.”

With only a few spots left open for one of the country’s most testing bicycle rides, interested cyclists are advised to enter immediately before the limited number of entries is reached. In addition to the R3,500 entry fee each rider commits to raising a minimum of  R7,000 for the MRP Foundation.

All interested cyclists who wish to enter must contact Cathy Kinnear at the MRP Foundation on [email protected].

To pledge your support for the Ride for MRP Foundation SMS the word “mrpf” to 38417 and a donation of R20.00 will be made.

For all media enquires please contact Pierre Tostee [email protected]

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