"It was fantastic! We had great support from Maties along the way. We started the race in perfect conditions, although it got a bit more difficult towards the end. But it was all worth it for a deserving cause."
These were the words of Prof Wim de Villiers, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University (SU), who completed his fifth Cape Town Cycle Tour (CTCT) on Sunday, 8 March in support of Matie students.
He finished the 109km race in just over 5 hours with his son Braam and daughter Gera. They were joined by a team of 60 staff members, alumni, students and friends of the University who entered the Cycle Tour as part of the #Move4Food team. Their aim was to raise funds for the student-led #Move4Food, a campaign to address food insecurity among students.
"It was great to be part of the Move4Food initiative and we will be wearing the shirts for a day in the Epic!" said team member Chris Norton. Norton, an SU alumnus and owner of the BMT bike shop in Stellenbosch, completed the race in three hours.
Also among the team, were students from SU's Tygerberg medical campus who have previously twice crossed borders with an ambitious 902km cycle from Vioolsdrift at the Namibian border to South Africa's border at Cape Agulhus to raise money for fellow Maties via the Nkululeko Fund.
After crossing the finishing line on Sunday, the Alumni Office hosted cyclists and alumni at the University's hospitality tent. “A number of Maties graced us with their presence. The gees was great, and we can't wait to do it again with other sporting activities," said Siya Ndlovu, peer-to-peer fundraising coordinator at SU.
“The team raised over R44 000 for Move4Food and we're so grateful. Next up is the gruelling Absa Cape Epic 2020 and we already have staff members and alumni who are set to cycle in support of #Move4Food. You can support them here — https://www.givengain.com/ap/francois-robert/."
Since taking office as SU Rector, Prof De Villiers has been active in supporting Matie students. He has completed the full 42.2km Sanlam Cape Town Marathon twice, the Cape Town Cycle Tour five times and in 2019, he took on the London to Brighton Cycle race for the first time – all as part of raising funds for SU students.
Would you like to get involved? You can still make a contribution on http://bit.ly/Move4Food-projects. Or, if you're planning to participate in any other sporting activities later this year, please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can assist you to show your Matie pride.
Photographer: Chanté du Toit