GARDEN ROUTE NEWS - Disabled athletes will have two opportunities to participate in sport events in George next year.
This came to light at the annual general meeting of the Disabled Road Race Foundation (DRRF), which was held last Thursday, 22 October, at Carpe Diem School.
The DRRF organises the popular annual Outeniqua Chair Challenge (OCC). This year the OCC was held in February, but next year's OCC will be on 9 October, with an extra "Garden Route-orientated" event taking place on 27 February.
Making the announcement, event organiser Alewijn Dippenaar said the description "Garden Route-orientated" doesn't exclude athletes from other provinces from participating. In fact, the idea is to offer a sporting opportunity to everybody who is in a wheelchair. The organisers want to create awareness of people that are in wheelchairs. The plan is to have races of 3, 5, 10 and 21 kilometres.
As part of their drive to bring members of different disciplines in the sporting community together, a mountain bike race and a running event are also planned for this day, probably on different routes and at different times. Such an event would probably cost between R150 000 and R200 000 to stage, but Dippenaar believes they will be able to find the finances.
Dirk Wessels, mayoral committee member for finance and strategic services, handed a cheque of R50 000 on behalf of the municipality to the organisers for this event. He said the donation is an indication that the municipality is committed and serious about the event. However, the organisers will unfortunately not be able to sponsor athletes with travelling costs.
Wessels went on to speak of the OCC, saying the municipality is proud of the event and he believes that all involved would like to see it grow. As in the past, George Municipality will join hands with all involved, but its involvement in the October event will only be known at a later stage as it falls in a new financial year.
Outgoing chairperson Henry Hill said Covid-19 has left uncertainty about future events across the world, including the OCC. One of the obstacles the organisers have had to face is finances, which remains a concern for 2021 and beyond. He expressed hope that businesses will be able to help present this event.
The new board of directors for the DRRF was also elected at the AGM. The members are: Roslyn Saptoe (chairperson); André Koen (deputy chairperson); Alewijn Dippenaar (OCC event director); Charleen Theron; Godfrey Louw; Bruce Jackson and Shaun Butler.
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