Hospice cyclists ready for the big one!
With only a few weeks left to the grueling 947 Telkom Cycle Challenge, team members of the Stepping Stone Hospice Charity Team are gearing themselves to not only compete successfully in Johannesburg’s biggest road race, but to also break the fundraising record set last year.
The training, dedication and commitment of the teams’ 70 cyclists will ultimately lead to Stepping Stone Hospice achieving their goal, and that is to extend the current In-Patient Unit in Alberton to include an adolescent section where young people with life-limiting illnesses can be cared for.
This will be the 3rd year that Stepping Stone Hospice has entered a team. Last year a record of R618 000 was raised and the funds were used to improve the In-Patient Unit and the setting up of training facilities for staff. Stepping Stone Hospice ended 5th out of the 127 charities entered in 2015 in terms of funds raised, and three of three of their riders were placed in the Top 20 Individual Fundraisers (Red Jersey).
“Demand for hospice care increases daily and we have a responsibility to our community to grow and expand as the need grows and expands,” explains CEO Tersia Burger. “Our cycling team plays a huge role in giving us the financial push needed to keep up with the demand.”
Included in this year’s team, says Marietjie Tame, Marketing and Fundraising Manager of Stepping Stone Hospice, are a number of novice riders, riders who have already had 10 or more 947 races under their belt, riders who are fighting life-limiting illnesses and lady golfers who chose to swop golf clubs for a racing bike in order to raise funds for hospice.
“I myself will be riding for the first time and have been training since March this year,” she says. “I need to experience first-hand what our team goes through in order to help us help others.”
The road race takes place on Sunday November 20 whilst the Mountain Bike Challenge takes place on Sunday 13 November.
Sporting their brand new gear for this year’s race, kindly sponsored by Absa, are some of the team members f.l.t.r: Chantel Hyman, Chantel McGill, Marietjie Tame, Jeff Hudson, Samantha Winterbottom, Theresa Nichols and Heather Reynolds.