Riding bicycles alone symbolises independence and freedom. Riding bicycles together unites people like nothing else can. And when people are united, they can achieve anything. The 2023 Legacy Ride4Hope was another communal four-day bike ride from Soweto to Howick. But it was way more than just a bike ride. Here’s why…
Paid partnership with Absa #SheUntamed
The diversity of South Africa is significant. On one end beautiful and on the other end brutal. The key to a better future is to reduce the brutality and build the beautiful. But this is an immense task and can only be achieved with collaborative efforts by those who believe in a better future for this country.
Fortunately, the Legacy Ride4Hope, an annual fund-raising multi-day bicycle ride that focuses on helping build a brighter future through the physical efforts of the cyclists and the financial commitment of caring corporates.
Charitable causes are plenty in this country. Heartbreakingly so. But every bit helps. And that’s why Legacy Ride4Hope, in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, focuses on specific projects to help improve the lives of children. And to highlight the success of these projects, the Legacy Ride4Hope invests time on each of the four days to visit, engage with and encourage each beneficiary school.
The projects that were funded by Legacy Ride for Hope this year were:
- New classrooms, office and storage facilities at Issacson Primary School, Soweto
- New classrooms at Isifisosethu Primary School, Standerton
- New classrooms at Mpophomeni School, Howick
We started with the projects because ultimately, that’s the reason the Legacy Ride4Hope exists. Each of the cyclists and support crew that took on the four-day journey through three provinces was motivated by a purpose beyond their own personal objectives. Whether pedalling purposefully or supporting sympathetically, the collective energy of these people is a blend of ambition, confidence and kindness. All committed to being a force for good and empowering needy communities.
A peloton of over 80 – mostly roadies, some mountain bikers, all united by a passion for riding bicycles – made its way over a route that was challenging and rewarding, helping leave a legacy of hope as per the objective of the initiative.
Thirty Absa participants were part of the 2023 edition as part of Absa’s commitment to the initiative. Among the riders were members of Absa’s #SheUntamed community, who promote diversity and inclusion in cycling. #SheUntamed is an Absa initiative for women in cycling.
As part of its contribution to the initiative and aligned to its ambition to be an active force for good, Absa facilitated the extension of education facilities in Soweto, former President Mandela’s home between 1946 and 1962 and the starting point for the cycling event. Isaacson Primary School, one of the beneficiaries of Ride4Hope, was upgraded with the addition of classroom, office and storage facilities.
None of this would be possible without the investment of corporates like Absa that believe in a better future. Each day of the Legacy Ride4Hope sees a focus on a different supporting corporate. These are acknowledged by the riders wearing different branded kit on each of the four days and that day being focused on that particular corporate – or corporates.
The 2023 schedule was as follows:
Wednesday 20 September 2023:
Corporate focus: Absa
Ride distance: 176km from Soweto to Standerton
Thursday 21 September 2023:
Corporate focus: ROMPCO
Ride distance: 155km from Standerton to Newcastle
Friday 22 September 2023:
Corporate focus: ATC SA & Thesele
Ride distance: 120km from Newcastle to Ladysmith
Saturday 23 September 2023:
Corporate focus: Umgeni Water & Hulamin
Ride distance: 104km from Ladysmith to Nelson Mandela Capture Site, Howick.
“This partnership delivers real impact corporate citizenship in the form of community development, education and empowerment,” said Stephen Seaka, Absa Group Managing Executive: Public Sector and Growth Capital Solutions. “This is one of several initiatives created by Absa to drive transformation, diversity and inclusion and it is part of Absa’s ambition to be an active force for good in everything we do.” said Seaka.
You can find out more about Legacy Ride4Hope, its partners and its beneficiaries at the official website here.