‘We really do care.’
If one talks to the Dryland Events Management and to one of the main sponsors, Klein Karoo International, it becomes clear that the motivation for the six-day mountain-bike tour is certainly not to benefit just a few people.
The build-up to the tour is geared towards making a difference in the lives of the people of the local communities, as well as towards promoting nature conservation.
But it is equally important for the organizers to ensure that every rider who enters for the tour will enjoy the ride of his life.
Henco Rademeyer from Dryland does not hesitate to point out that the Cape Pioneer is a tour of total contrasts.
“During this tour the riders will have the opportunity to ride through some of the most beautiful forests in the area and they will have to conquer some really tough climbs as well. But once they reach the Groot Karoo, they will experience near desert conditions where they will be able to see miles and miles ahead of them.
“A definite highlight will be at Mossel Bay where they will be riding right on the beach for approximately 10 kilometers.”
After every stage the riders will overnight in tent villages which will form part of the Tour’s vision of making a difference in the local communities.
“Do you know that 70% of our scholars are from previously disadvantaged communities? At the moment most of the schools battle to make ends meet, because funding to these schools are limited and most of these learners’ parents struggle to help in this regard,” Rademeyer said.
“We are fully aware of this. That is why one of our goals is to make sure that the schools will benefit directly from the Tour. This year about 3 500 pupils, from seven high schools in six towns, will be involved with setting up and running the tent villages for the riders.
“KHS will sponsor 800 tents with all the necessary ablution facilities for the tent villages.
“Klein Karoo International will donate the meat to the different schools to enable them to prepare meals for the riders and spectators. S A Breweries will sponsor beer gardens every night to enable the schools to make a profit.
“We will also train jobless people to work as security guards in the tent villages.”
“Last year the schools managed to make healthy profits to enable them to address certain needy issues.”