Strong bond continues between Schools and Sani2c
Strong bond continues between schools and sani2c
Himeville KZN – When the thousands of avid MTB riders take part in the popular three stage Nedbank sani2c, ten local schools get involved in providing essential services to the trio of races, and in the process ploughing funds back into their school coffers in line with the race business model of empowering and benefiting as many community organisations along its 265km route.
Some of the schools are based in Underberg and they are the first ones to be involved with the race as they are given a number of responsibilities that they have to carry out before the race starts.
“We have the Underberg School running a shuttle service for the riders that are not staying on site at Glencairn,” Mandy Haw said. “The shuttle service is a big part of the race having to get the riders and their boxes to the start where the pre-primary school help with providing food for the riders before they head off.”
Following the opening days action from the foothills of Sani Pass to the McKenzie Club in Ixopo there are a few schools that provide a wide variety of assistance to the race while the riders put their feet up after 80kms in the saddle.
“Local schools like Lynford, Ixopo Primary and Masaneni help with the bike wash at the end of the first day, and there are a lot of bikes to be washed! The mothers of the children also help out with washing as well as with the large catering operation,” Haw added.
In line with the race business model, the schools and other service providers are paid for their services by the race depending on the success of their work. It is a philosophy that the schools have eagerly bought into.
“We approached the schools and asked if they wanted to add value to the race and if they said yes then we gave them the chance to help out for a pre-arranged price and the relationships with the schools seem to be strong with them adding a lot of value. We don’t offer the communities and the schools involved donations but give them the chance to raise their own funds through the race,” Haw added.
There are a number of schools on days two and three of the race that also get involved. Schools from deep in the Umkomaas Valley to the schools in Scottburgh and with varying responsibilities they all offer something different to the race to make it more successful.
“We need marshalls on the route, and the schools provide us with those. The Umdoni Christian School help us along the beach to make sure that we keep the beaches clean when the race is finished,” Haw said.
Although all of these institutions that are involved in the race benefit through their own endeavour as well as through a prearranged fee there is one school that can happily say that the race has been a huge influence on them – the Msayana School.
Msayana is the perfect example of how the race has given back to the community and it was through the contributions from the riders as well as from the Nedbank sani2c that the learners now have solar powered classrooms with televisions, as well as a number of educational DVDs that will no doubt improve the level of education that these children receive.
The 11th edition of the Nedbank sani2c’s gets underway when the Trail event takes place from 12-14 May 2015. The Adventure then unfolds from 13-15 May before the cream of the the country’s top mountain bikers do battle during the Race from 14-16 May. More information can be found at www.sani2c.co.za