These are the people who make sure we are living our dreams as sport people and changing our lives in the Valley of Thousand Hills. Even in these tough times, they risk their lives out there just to show all of us they are really committed to Change a Life by raising funds, especially for our Black Communities! Thank you so much to Change a Life and to everyone involved in the 2020 Tour!Lucas Mthalane Martin Dreyer Change a Life Academy member
The Change a Life Unlocked & Loaded Tour 2020
Faced with a global pandemic that left very little untouched in its path across the world, the Change a Life trustees experienced the same uncertainty and anxiety as millions of other decision-makers around the world. How long will it last? What will the impact be on our lives and our livelihoods? How do we balance the health and humanitarian crises against the need for economic survival? For us, the most pressing issue was the survival of our projects – our beacons of hope in two of South Africa’s most impoverished provinces.
As South Africa locked down and each day brought news of the cancellation of another major event, our sponsors and cyclists started contacting us with messages of hope and offers of support to ensure that we raised the R4 million needed to fund our projects. FNB, our primary sponsor, maintained its full support even as it ceased other major physical sponsorship events. Merchants cancelled its Change a Life mountain bike tour but donated R1 million to Change a Life. Our other loyal sponsors, remained onboard. The cyclists let us know in no uncertain terms that they were determined to fund the projects, regardless of the vehicle we used to do so. With our funding intact (and bringing the total amount raised by Change a Life over 13 years to almost R60 million), we started considering our cycle tour options.
International restrictions placed our planned Croatia tour on ice but the progressive lifting of local restrictions, and the reopening of domestic travel, created the opportunity to proceed with a local tour, and also contribute to the South African economy, while sustaining our projects. With just weeks to prepare and with the full support of our main sponsor FNB, we were able to host the 2020 cycle tour on the luxurious Rovos Rail train once again. Our previous two tours on this moving six-star hotel had been among our most successful. We were supremely confident that this year’s event would live up to that same standard, and it did! This time we were treated to a rolling adventure through the Limpopo and Mpumalanga lowveld regions. The tour took place from 22 – 26 October 2020 and involved three days of “easy” cycling (according to our trusted Route Master) and four nights aboard Rovos Rail.
Click here to view a few memories made on the 2020 cycle tour.