Two Stellenbosch University staff members and alumni are putting in the hours on their mountain bikes training for the gruelling Absa Cape Epic 2020 to raise funds for the University's #Move4Food campaign.
Francois Swart, at Facilities Management, and Robert van Staden, at the Faculty of Education, joined forces to ride the arduous Cape Epic this year. It will be Francois's 5th Cape Epic and Robert's 4th, and the first time they will ride for a charity. They wish to raise R200 000 for #Move4Food.
The #Move4Food student-led campaign kicked off in August 2018 with an ambitious target of R10 million. The aim is to build food banks and end student hunger op SU's campuses. Students and Alumni across the country already took on challenges to raise funds for this worthy campaign, including SU's rector and vice-chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers.
In a previous interview Prof de Villiers said: “One student that goes hungry is one too many. What impressed me most with this campaign has been the phenomenal response from our students, staff and alumni – people whom also set up fundraising projects of their own. It shows each person can make a difference."
“To think that one in every 100 students have no food to eat while studying at SU, is heart-breaking. How can you study and be academic successful while being hungry?" asked Swart, who encourage people to donate for this worthy cause. “It never crossed my mind that there will be students who have no food to eat. It is so important for us to raise as much awareness as possible for this campaign so that we can make sure our students do not go a day without food and be academic successful. "
“We will raise awareness and change the lives of students on campus," says Van Staden. “It is more than just riding a race. Every day that we train, we cannot help thinking how hard it must be for students who do not have their basic needs met. It will be the biggest reward if we could reach our goal for the campaign and complete the Epic without any injuries," says Van Staden.
The #Move4Food Epic team started training in October 2019. They try and train around 12 hours a week – mostly on their own, as they live in two different towns. It will be the first time that they team up for this event.
The #Move4Food team will ride 647 kilometres over eight days, climbing a total of 15 550 meters over rugged mountain dual tracks, rocky single tracks, sandy farm roads and nerve-racking descents off mountain ranges.
“Our goal is to finish and to raise enough awareness for our charity."
This year the Cape Epic will once again start at the University of Cape Town's campus for the prologue, and from there they will ride in Ceres, at Saronsberg in Tulbagh, in Wellington to finish on Val de Vie Estate in Paarl.
“Please donate," is the pleas from the #Move4Food Epic team. “There is not a thing as a small donation - every bit and coin help." If you want to support the team in their fundraising stunt, please click here
See their official video here