THE Grandads Army of the Rob Burton Memorial Ride took to the road in the early hours of Sunday morning, October 8.
The team have tackled their 1160km relay cycle from East London to Stellenbosch over four days, in aid of the EyaBantwana Trust.
The “Army”, “Navy” and the “Air Force” groups left Caltex Beacon Bay at 5.30am on Sunday and made their way through to Middelburg via the N6. The group has collectively completed the 1160km event via the Karoo, venturing teams through Middelburg, Willowmore, Swellendam, and arriving in Stellenbosch yesterday.
The wind and chill in the air proved to add to the challenges each cyclist experienced throughout day one. With the support of the backup crew, vehicles were able to shield the cyclists from the wind, ensuring they reached Middelburg wearing big smiles reflecting their first days’ achievement.
In the first and second year of this prestigious event, the Grandads Army managed to raise over R500000 in two years.
This year the group of riders are hoping to raise over R250000 which will go towards buying much-needed burn surgical equipment for the paediatric patients at the East London Hospital Complex.
Frere and Cecilia Makiwane hospitals make up the complex which services a huge area including big sections of the Transkei.
“We have a steep fundraising hill to climb, but we are confident that East Londoners and the many people along the way who were so supportive last year will again rally behind this great cause,” said ride organiser Dr Colin Lazarus, an East London Hospital Complex paediatric surgeon and one of the original members of Grandads Army.
The 18 cyclists have been well looked after along route by Caltex Eastern Cape Marketer, S Haynes & Associates Inc, Minuteman Press and Powerade.
“As a major role player in the Eastern Cape fuel industry, we at Caltex Eastern Cape Marketer take our responsibility seriously and believe that through awareness, preventative campaigns and ensuring that proper care is given to burn victims, the effects of this scourge could be greatly reduced,” said Clive Berlyn, CEO of Caltex South Africa.
“We therefore would like to commend the Eyabantwana Trust for their dedication in raising awareness and funds to make the world a safer place for our children,” he said.