As the second wave of Covid-19 continues to hit SA, organisers of the FNB Drak Adventure Weekend have agreed to cancel the three sporting events and concert that make up the popular family weekend in Underberg.
The N3TC Drak Challenge canoe marathon, the Euro Steel Drak Descent mountain bike race and the Euro Steel Run the Rivers trail run, together with the FNB Drak Music Experience concert, due to take place on the last weekend of January, have all been called off.
“We appreciate the efforts of Canoeing SA and the KZN Canoe Union in doing everything possible to keep the major events alive, but on overall assessment we all agreed that the risks heavily outweighed the benefits, and we need to be responsible and safeguard everyone’s health,” said Drak Challenge race committee head Mark Willment.
“We had flexible plans to ensure social distancing and full compliance at the race, but the reality is that almost everyone travels a long way to Underberg for the weekend and books into local accommodation, and the risk of creating a new super-spreader event was real,” he said.
“We are gravely concerned that the overburdened hospitals compromise the ability to offer professional medical care should a serious injury occur.
“We have top class medics on duty, but they are hours away from the nearest hospital and the reality is that there are no beds available at many of these hospitals. Patients needing care are being turned away and sent to find alternate hospitals. We can’t responsibly stage an adventure sport with that risk,” he added.
Health and safety
“The health and safety of everyone is our top priority and therefore the decision is considered to be responsible and supported,” said Asheen Magjee, FNB KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Head.
“The FNB Drak Adventure Weekend has grown into a superb opportunity to share in the many attractions of Underberg and its surroundings. It makes an important contribution by supporting the community organisations that are integral to all four events.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has made it necessary for all of us to reconsider our priorities, and while we will all miss the atmosphere of this memorable weekend in Underberg, our priority for now should be to protect the health of every single person as the nation struggles to deal with this pandemic,” said Magjee.
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