Tour adds new endurance race for kids

    Powerade special events manager Danny Williams (left) and Reach for a Dream recipient Vuvu, 15, give her brother Andile, 5, a push start in preparation for The Herald VW Cycle Tour. Photo: Coetzee Gouws/fullstop

    Due to the demand from budding cyclists, The Herald VW Cycle Tour has introduced an “endurance” challenge for children called the Powerade 10km Sprint.

    Aimed at the 10 to 12 year age group, the latest addition to the Powerade-sponsored family road events effectively bridges the gap between the 21km Leisure Ride on the one side and the 2km Kiddies’ Ride and 500m Toddlers’ Dash on the other.

    According to event coordinator Linda Harwood, the new race fulfilled the organisers’ vision to offer a complete weekend festival of cycling.

    “Like the Leisure Ride, it’s an ideal opportunity for parents to interact with their kids because participants have to be accompanied by an adult.”

    For older teens, Harwood said the new 55km Pursuit – which replaces the existing 40km and 70km races – would include licensed U14 and U16 racing categories.

    “Now there really is something for everyone leading up to the 106km Classic feature race.”

    On the mountain bike side, she said Powerade would once again sponsor the 30km Leisure Challenge, 5km Kiddies’ Challenge and 500m Toddlers’ Dash.

    She said the cycle tour – which takes place in Port Elizabeth and Addo – epitomised Nelson Mandela Bay’s healthy, family-oriented, outdoor lifestyle.

    Powerade’s special events manager Danny Williams said it was these values that resonated strongly with the sports drink brand.

    “Our brand is very much about family togetherness and living a healthy, active lifestyle. We love the fact that the new event has kids riding with their moms and dads.”

    Williams said the 10km race was a welcome addition to the line-up and that Powerade had been a proud sponsor of the road and mountain bike family events since their inception.

    15-year-old cancer survivor Vuvu, who was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia last year and received a life-saving bone marrow transplant from her five-year-old brother Andile. Photo: Coetzee Gouws/fullstop

    He said the sponsorship would once again include a financial contribution, liquid refreshment for participants and novelty items for the goodie bags. “Our two Gig Rigs (mobile music trucks) will also add to the festive atmosphere over the weekend.”

    Aside from the sponsorship aspect, Williams said the tour was important from a corporate social responsibility perspective.

    “We are very happy about Reach for a Dream’s involvement and that they benefit directly from it.”

    Proceeds from the family road races go to the non-profit organisation, which makes the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses come true.

    One such recipient is 15-year-old cancer survivor Vuvu, who was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia last year and received a life-saving bone marrow transplant from her five-year-old brother Andile.

    Vuvu’s wish for a scrapbooking kit was fulfilled last October and kept her busy during her four-month stay at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital in Cape Town.

    Now in remission, the Victoria Park High School pupil described her little brother as “very brave and joyful” and said the operation had strengthened their already close bond.

    She said she would be there to cheer Andile on when he takes part in the Toddlers’ Dash at Hobie Beach in PE on Saturday, February 2.

    All the family road and mountain bike events take place on the Saturday, while the 55km Pursuit and 106km Classic round off the weekend on the Sunday.