Cape Town - Big events should be for all, not matter their abilities, and the Warrior on Wheels Foundation (WOWF) aims to promote this inclusiveness at the upcoming Cape Town Cycle Tour with their buggy teams.
This year nine differently-abled children, between the ages of eight and 20, will take part in the race alongside volunteer cyclists who will pull them in specially designed buggies. This was first introduced in 2013 after WOWF co-founder Deirdré Gower was denied permission the previous year to do the Cycle Tour with her son in a buggy. She engaged with the organisers and a new category was added for buggy teams.
Since then the buggy teams have grown every year, with the support of the Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust. Each team is made up of the buggy rider, the cyclist towing it and a support rider that just helps the buggy with uphills and checking on the passenger.
Buggies cost R15 000 to make, thus sponsorship is open to brands that can get their very own branded buggy in the race. WOWF also raises funds for the entry fees and equipment used by the buggy riders, though other buggy team members need to pay the R800 entry fee and R525 cost for a jersey to participate.
CapeNature and Cape Town Tourism have come on-board to sponsor some of the buggies this year as part of their all-access mandate and to give kids the chance to experience more.
“CapeNature is honoured and proud to form part of this initiative. Providing universal access is at the core of what we promote. It is heart-warming that through this race we can give differently-abled children the joy of adventure. It does not only end with the Cycle Tour but with several other facilities available on our nature reserves with wheelchair access,” says Sheraaz Ismail, CapeNature's Director of Marketing and Eco-Tourism.
Cape Town Tourism had similar sentiments, hoping to create access to tourism activities across the city, according to its CEO Enver Duminy.
“As a destination, Universal Access is of paramount importance to us; in tourism and in all experiences our goal is to drive accessibility for all across the city. This includes those with physical challenges as well as those with financial challenges, and we applaud the efforts made by organisations such as Warrior on Wheels in driving this initiative."
WOWF also arranges other adventure activities for differently-abled children like surfing, zipslides, horse riding and even jaunts across the city in motorbike sidecars.
If you want to get involved, you can contact Gower at email@example.com or visit their website for more information.
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