SABC 3 Presenter teams up with Robbie Hunter to Change a Life

This article appeared on the LeadSA website

SABC 3 presenter Liezel van der Westhuizen will be teaming up with SA road race champion Robbie Hunter for the 2012 High Five Change a Life Cycle Tour.

About Change a Life Cycle Tour

The annual Change a Life Cycle Tour is the Trust’s main fundraising event – and for those who have participated before it represents both a personal life-changing experience and an opportunity to contribute to the Change a Life projects. It is attended by approximately 75 of South Africa’s leading corporate executives and sports personalities, while SA road race champion Robbie Hunter and Liezel van der Westhuizen have agreed to fly the flag as Change a Life ambassadors.

Who benefits

One of the first projects to receive funding from Change a Life was the DNA Project which advances the use of DNA evidence in bringing criminals to justice. Under the guidance of its founder, Vanessa Lynch, the project has been instrumental in raising awareness and teaching the police and other related groups how to preserve and collect DNA at crime scenes. Vanessa, who left a career in law to work full-time on the DNA Project after her father was murdered, has also lobbied for and supported the introduction of new legislation to govern the use of DNA in crime detection.

The iChoose to Change a Life project provides leadership training to teenage offenders so that they are empowered to walk away from crime and to become respected role models in their own communities.  Carol Podetti-Ngono, the inspirational founder of the Valued Citizens Initiative which drives iChoose to Change a Life introduced the Stand against Crime initiative in South African schools in 2011 to create crime-free school communities. The initiative reaches hundreds of thousands of children and has been highly effective in channelling their energy into crime prevention initiatives.

The remaining three projects all use sport as a primary vehicle to transform the lives of severely disadvantaged young people. The Martin Dreyer Change a Life Academy trains youngsters in rural KwaZulu Natal to become professional athletes, the Allan Thomson Kushido Karate-do inspires children from Drummond and Cosmo City in Gauteng to become productive members of society through the discipline and power of karate, while Nemato Change a Life gives disadvantaged youths in the townships of Port Alfred the mind-set, skills, knowledge and support to become successful in life.

Each of these projects is run by a powerful role model who has achieved success in their own lives and wants to give back to society: Martin Dreyer is a seven-time Dusi Marathon winner and his young beneficiaries can be seen competing for the top positions in the Dusi each year; Allan Thomson holds a black belt in karate and wants to build something positive out of his brother Mike’s tragic death; Jan Blom at Nemato Change a Life has coached Olympic and university rowers in Holland and South Africa and is creating new lives for children who would otherwise face a hopeless future.

The 2012 High Five Tour

The 2012 Cycle Tour takes place on 20 – 25 September and is called the High Five tour in recognition of five years of existence. Having been located in a number of southern African locations in previous years, the tour returns to South Africa this year and will take cyclists on an epic journey through the Waterberg, where they will cycle approximately 550 kms over four days – climbing about 5 000 metres – and experience the thrill of South Africa’s Big Five, the romance of the bushveld and a dramatic twist at the finale.

On 20 September, cyclists will depart on Rovos Rail from Pretoria Station to Pienaars River Station at Carousal. Day 1 of cycling will cover 120 kms of mostly flat road with a sturdy climb over the final 20 km stretch to our destination, the Legend Golf and Safari Resort in the Waterberg. Day 2 will cover 148 kms of undulating terrain to Ellisras and Day 3 offers the greatest challenge with a 215 km undulating ride through bushveld to Vaal water and then back to the Legend resort. Day 4 involves 75 kms, finishing off with a gruelling 9 km uphill time trial, but the spectacular gala dinner at the finale will soothe any the aching limbs anand bruised egos, as will the sense that something truly good will come from their efforts.

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