Cape Town - Mandela Day 2015 falls during the Tour de France. MTN-Qhubeka is calling on the fans to celebrate with us through the #BicyclesChangeLives campaign.
18 July is a special day in South Africa because it is the birthday of the late Nelson Mandela. It has become known as Mandela Day and is celebrated annually. To honour the 67 years Nelson Mandela spent striving to make the world a better place, South Africans spend time – at least 67minutes – on 18 July every year doing good in their communities.
In support of Mandela Day 2015, Qhubeka are inviting fans to help give 5 000 schoolchildren a chance to experience the freedom of riding and owning a bicycle. Help to make the world a better place for 5 000 children by mobilising them with bicycles, which will help them to get to school more quickly and safely every day.
This year, Team MTN-Qhubeka made history as the first African-registered team to take part in the Tour de France. While the team has always focused on developing African cyclists to compete at the highest levels of the sport, it’s also always been about more than just winning races. The team has teamed up with Qhubeka, World Bicycle Relief’s programme in South Africa, to rally support around the campaign #BicyclesChangeLives, which will fund 5 000 bicycles for students in Africa.
On 18 July, MTN-Qhubeka riders will proudly wear orange helmets in the Tour de France to pay tribute to Qhubeka and to raise awareness about the #BicyclesChangeLives campaign. In addition, it's staff in the Tour de France will wear yellow and black Qhubeka beaded bracelets in memory of Nelson Mandela. They will be joined by various other teams, media and fans.
“As a child I dreamt of being able to ride in the Tour de France,” says Louis Meintjes, who is riding the Tour de France as part of Team MTN-Qhubeka’s nine-man team. “To be able to not only ride in this prestigious race but to know that I’m doing something good for other people is really special. Nelson Mandela brought the whole country together and I would love to see cycling make a difference on 18 July in some small way.”
“We are proud that the team will be wearing orange helmets and our Qhubeka bracelets as they ride in honour of the late Nelson Mandela and his legacy on Mandela Day 2015,” says Anthony Fitzhenry, Qhubeka Founder. “We see this as an opportunity to bring unity to our supporters from all over the world and we thank them for their help in assisting Qhubeka in relieving poverty in Africa through bicycles.”
USA-born MTN-Qhubeka rider Tyler Farrar says, “Nelson Mandela is a legendary figure and being on a South African team I am delighted to celebrate that day on such a world stage. It's going to be a special day.”
On Saturday, 18 July 2015, Qhubeka are asking supporters to be part of #BicyclesChangeLives by going online and donating R67.00 ($5.50 / €4.9) to Qhubeka at bicycleschangelives.org.
Your donation will help schoolchildren overcome the challenge of distance through access to a rugged, reliable bicycle. World Bicycle Relief’s 2012 Academic Report found a 28percent increase in attendance and a 59percent increase in academic performance when students had access to a bicycle.