Changing lives - one bicycle at a time

2015-11-17 06:00
Photos: supplied Helping two iKhethelo children (from left) Martin Wheeler, Fred Krone and Tyrone Johns.

Photos: supplied Helping two iKhethelo children (from left) Martin Wheeler, Fred Krone and Tyrone Johns.

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DESPITE the gloomy weather on Wednesday there were smiles all round as 10 children from iKhethelo Children's Village received new bikes, courtesy of Giba Gorge, KZN Cycling and Hillcrest Rotary.

The proceedings started at 3pm with president of Hillcrest Rotary, Fred Krone, welcoming everyone and thanking all who were involved.

Krone then handed over to Zolisa Nono (Giba mechanic) who spoke to the children about caring for their new bikes and gathered around as he demonstrated on his own bike how he looks after it.

There were 20 bicycles of all shapes and sizes for the children to choose from.

Giba staff helped the children get set up on their bikes and assisted them in choosing a helmet. They then moved to the lawn where the children flew around showing off their new wheels.

Even when it started to pour and most of the spectators returned to the café for shelter, the children wouldn't get off their bicycles.

Adele Burger of Giba Gorge said the project was initiated this year when she was approached by MartinWheeler from Hillcrest Rotary.

“Rotary was receiving a container with 500 bicycles from a charity in Canada called Bicycles for Humanity and they weren't too sure if they could manage on their own,” she said.

“It is not the kind of riding we do at Giba as most of these bikes are for commuting only, but we had to get involved. KZN Cycling development officer Tyrone Johns is based here at Giba Gorge and has been going to each district in KZN promoting riding.
“I knew he would have identified people over the past year whose lives he could change with a bike and got him on board.”

Burger said the container was delivered to them in September and Nono has been assembling bikes ever since.

“The next bikes we hand out will be going to some of the pupils of Hillcrest Primary and then to The Lilly of the Valley,” she said.

“The aim of this project is not only to empower people by providing them with a mode of transport, but also to encourage a healthy lifestyle, something that we at Giba Gorge MTB Park always promote.”

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