Ambassadors gear up for uBhejane challenge

2017-12-05 06:00
PHOTOS: SuppliedTV personality Stacey Holland will be involved in her first uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge.

PHOTOS: SuppliedTV personality Stacey Holland will be involved in her first uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge.

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THE upcoming uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge from Hillcrest to Hilltop Camp in Hluhluwe on December 9 has roped in the services of ex-Springbok Jeremy Thomson and TV personality Stacey Holland as ambassadors for the fund-raising event.

The ride forms part of a greater environmental awareness initiative that raises money for Project Rhino, a group that helps in servicing the anti-poaching efforts in KZN and participating riders have to raise at least R5 000 to take part.

There are four distances that riders can take part in with the hardcore riders tackling the entire 340km route. Thomson and Holland will be peddling the 100km into Hilltop Camp.

“I am friends with Grant Fowlds and he was on my case to get involved again this year after I took part last year at the last minute,” says Sharks rugby legend Thomson.

“Being from KZN and loving the bush, conservation is close to my and my wife’s heart.

“She calls herself an honouree game ranger.

“Last year I did the 240km, but I will only be riding 100km this year and I am looking forward to contributing to conservation in our province.

“To be part of something this important and seeing the great work that is done by the people who receive the funds we raise makes it worthwhile.

“It is a privilege to be involved in a cause like this and it is important to say there are people who deserve praise, like organiser Mark Carrol, for putting such an important event together,” says Thomson.

Holland, who was born in Zimbabwe, also has a close affinity to nature and the plight of the rhino.

“I am an ambassador for Wild Aid, a programme that deals with supply and demand and how, if we educate and limit the demand for rhino horn, we can decrease the supply. “It also focuses on the socioeconomic impact that poaching has on communities where there is a need for income.

“So rhino conservation is something close to my heart,” she says.

Holland, who took part in her third Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge recently, has been working on her MTB skills going into her 100km ride over the second weekend of December.

“I do a lot of road riding, but I’m hoping I can get to a bike park so I can do some single track riding in cleats.

“The distance isn’t a worry for me it’s riding a mountain bike in cleats,” she says.

The 2017 uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge takes place from Hillcrest to Hluhluwe Game Reserve on Saturday December 9.

Those interested in taking part may apply to enter, donations can be submitted and more information can be found via the event’s website, www.ubhejanex.org

- Supplied

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