George, Garden Route (August 2022) – All wheels are in motion to ensure that this year’s Outeniqua Chair Challenge (OCC) can be hosted once again, with continued support from George Municipality and George Tourism since 2002. Taking into account the two-year hiatus necessitated by Covid-19, this year’s much-anticipated event may well be more of a mammoth production than ever before.
But come Saturday October 15, the OCC race village at Carpe Diem School as well as all routes, markers, marshals and meals, will have been secured and an army of helpers will be ready to roll – thanks to the efforts of event owner the Disabled Road Race Foundation (DRRF) and its many resourceful collaborators.
Roslyn Saptoe serves as DRRF chairperson and is tasked with directing the essential fundraising drives required to keep the race on the road, as it were. Two such initiatives are scheduled for the last weekend in August, allowing the general public to show their support for people in wheelchairs while contributing to OCC operational funds.
First up is a Fun Walk at Rooirivier Sports Grounds on Saturday the 27th at 12 noon. Entry fees are R30 for adults and kids pay R10 – register at the grounds from 11am onwards.
“The Fun Walk will follow the well-loved Colour Run-format, with rainbow-tinted powder ensuring no participant leaves the grounds looking drab or grey! Wear a white T-shirt and remember, donations are always very welcome,” smiles Roslyn.
She adds that Rooirivier grounds staff has been asked to trim the grass two days prior to the OCC Fun Walk, which should make it much easier for wheelchair participants to navigate their way.
Then, divot diggers of all skills levels must diarise Sunday August 28, when the OCC Golf Day fundraiser will be hosted at spectacular Oubaai Golf Estate. Entry fee is R2,000 per four-ball and includes green fees, golf carts, and a halfway snack. There’s also a plethora of prizes to be won for nearest to the pin, longest drive and suchlike, as well as an auction and lucky draws.
Various sponsorship options are available – call Roslyn on 073 450 2469 to find out more. Deposit your entry fee into Nedbank (branch code 198765) savings account 2033421546 and email proof of payment to email@example.com before August 26. For general golf bookings, WhatsApp Nick on 083 491 9133 or Hilton on 073 901 6638
OCC race director Alewijn Dippenaar explains that all funds raised during the run-up to this year’s event will help footing the bill for essential infrastructure such as tents, toilets, sound equipment, water points, delineators and the like.
Says Alewijn: “Consider that we are positioning 2,600 delineators along a 21km circuit, with an equal amount of sandbags. Funds raised will also support our opening ceremony on the Friday evening, when we provide a bite for athletes in attendance.
“Then add the fact that all participants receive medals, and it’s clear the list of expenses is nearly endless. Long story short, the total cost of hosting an event of this magnitude is around R750,000.”
Local business folk unable to attend this month’s fundraisers must take note that a special category has been created by OCC organisers to allow their involvement and support.
“In the lead-up to Boss’s Day on October 16, we’ve opened our 5km route and invite businesses to participate in their own unique challenge on Saturday’s race day. Put your MD or manager into a wheelchair, and get your crew to take turns pushing along the 5km circuit.
“Entry is only R3,000 and affords you brand bragging rights at the race village and during the 5km event, so don’t miss this opportunity for great publicity and a whole lot of fun,” says Alewijn.
The DRRF was established in 2004 as NPO with the specific purpose of enhancing races for people in wheelchairs; each one of its seven directors has a specific portfolio to further this cause. OCC pre-entries can be done by clicking on www.onlines.co.za or contact Alewijn Dippenaar on 082 457 5675 or at firstname.lastname@example.org with queries.
Press release on behalf of the Road Race Foundation:
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mimi finestone | email@example.com | +27 84 583 3144