Words: Gameplan Media
The 2015 aQuellé Tour Durban presented by Sunday Tribune might be little more than a fond memory for thousands of cyclists, but the race’s deep-rooted legacy took another bold stride forward this week with another substantial donation to the unique local community organisation The Domino Foundation.
Photo credit: Nick Tatham/ Gameplan Media
Formally bringing down the curtain on the successful 2015 event, the race owners, Club Cappuccino, handed over a cheque for R50 000 to the Domino Foundation which further strengthens the ties that the two organisations have had developed over the past three years of their relationship.
The Domino Foundation is a non-profit organisation that believes in the power of a changed life, and operates a range of community outreach programmes involving 4000 young men and women under the age of 18 that focus on the individual, to empower, uplift and transform their lives so they too can impact the nation and others around them.
CEO of the Domino Foundation Mickey Wilkins believes that the way in which the aQuellé Tour Durban and the Domino Foundation have come together to create an opportunity for young people to get involved in cycling is one of the major outcomes of the relationship.
“A race like the Tour Durban gives all riders the chance to participate and not just your elite riders,” Wilkins said. “For us, giving the guys in our community the chance to come and participate in a race that they have not been able to take part in is something special.
“It is not just about the money for us, it is about the chance that these young people get to take part in such a prestigious race like the aQuellé Tour Durban.
“With that said the reality is that the money does make a difference in that it will be ploughed back into their lives through the life skills programme that the money will support.
Being part of the Domino Foundation team that takes part in the Tour Durban is something that Wilkins also believes is one of the most satisfying elements of the partnership.
“The excitement that surrounds the community in the build-up to the event including the training and putting on the team kit is hugely satisfying part of the event.
“The guys shouting for each other along the route during the race and people wearing the same shirts as the development riders are all bits of the experience that create such a special atmosphere around the day,” he mentioned gratefully.
Wilkins is hoping that the relationships between the aQuellé Tour Durban and the Domino Foundation can grow and with cycling becoming more and more popular he hopes to see the interest grow within the Domino Foundation community.
“I want to see more participation in the event from the people in our community and with cycling being recognised as a sport growing in popularity and being encouraged I would love to see more black kids taking part,” Wilkins concluded.
Event organiser Stu Berry explained the unique nature of the relationship between the Tour Durban and the Domino Foundation mentioning how all proceeds from the race go to charity.
“The business structure of the Tour Durban is different to the other national cycling classics in that it is owned by a Non-Governmental Organisation and all of the profits from the race go to charity.
“It is a really true event in that all riders know that all of the profit that comes out of the event goes back into a worthy cause like the Domino Foundation and I think that is important for the direction in which the sport of cycling is going,” Berry mentioned.
The House of Love and Hope (HOLAH) is a haven for abandoned and orphaned babies and they too also benefited from the aQuellé Tour Durban as the race handed over a cheque for R5000.
More information can be found at www.tourdurban.co.za.