Cyclists ride to support young girls

Three schools to benefit from funds raised during 278.6km odyssey

Riding for Change’s Tanana Mntambo and Katiso Letlaka are seen with their riding machines as they aiming to raise funds to purchase more than 21,840 sanitary towels.

A group of seven cyclists will embark on a ride with a difference – cycling a gruelling 278,6km from East London to Cradock in two days – all in the name of charity.

Joe Jongile, Tanana Mntambo, Makhosi Mntambo, Luvuyo Mali, Xolile Mdolo, Thenjiwe Mbayisa and Katiso Letlaka on Tuesday began the first ever Cradock Cycling Tour which is set to see three schools in the remote town in the Karoo getting a year’s supply of sanitary towels.

Letlaka said the group had identified JA Calata High School, Matthew Goniwe Comprehensive High School, and Michausdal High School as the initiative’s beneficiaries.

The fitness fanatics aim to raise money to buy 21,840 sanitary towels that would be a year’s supply to three schools –1,820 per month, per school.

Letlaka, who runs his non-profit organisation in East London, said they wanted to give young girls from indigent households the confidence they need in order to succeed in life – by helping them avoid missing school just because they were on their menstrual cycle.

“Some of us are from Cradock and we’ve noticed that girls in the area sometimes skip school when it’s that time of the month because they don’t have sanitary towels.

“That’s because Cradock is a disadvantaged area and we want to make a contribution to our community,” said Letlaka.

He said after he pitched the idea to his friends and business associates, they immediately got on board.

“We started this as group of guys who were born in Cradock, but we have cyclists from as far as Johannesburg that have joined the cause.

“But we are planning to grow this tour into something big next year in order to help more schools,” said Letlaka.

The seven cyclists will be accompanied by three support vehicles in case of a medical emergency.

They will make two stops before reaching their final destination, which is 278,6km via the R63 on Thursday.

“We are going to start on Tuesday in East London, then we’ll paddle until we reach Alice where we will call it a night.

“Then we’ll wake up again on Wednesday and then head to Bedford, where we’ll continue the next day to Cradock.

“We have statistics of the kids that we are going to be assisting so we are hoping to raise just under 21,000 towels.”

He said, “whatever amount we raise, we’ll buy these towels”.

He said they were hoping to get sponsors on board for their next tour, scheduled to take place in October next year.

By: Mfundo Piliso

– DispatchLIVE

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