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Ride the Beloved Country: Joberg2C mountain biking event empowers communities

mountain bike racer, joberg2c

© Em Gatland

9 days. 900 kilometres. Four provinces. 99.5% off road, and 110% mountain biking adventure. This is joberg2c, the beloved brainchild of two farmers, one city guy and their collective imagination run wild. Now in its tenth year of existence, joberg2c attracts a fiercely loyal following of local and international riders and spectators. Most importantly, it is designed and run as a community event – relying on the support of rural schools and communities – which in turn, benefit from the vital economic stimulus that the race provides.

“It is no secret that joberg2c puts its communities first,” explains joberg2c co-founder and race director Craig Wapnick. “Since its inception 10 years ago, the race has successfully uplifted every community through which it has travelled.”

Mountain bike racers, joberg2c

Source: joberg2c

Starting on the KARAN beef farm 40 km south of Johannesburg, the 9-day route traverses through Gauteng, a little bit of Mpumalanga, the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal before ending at Scottburgh on the South Coast.

Testament to its slogan, Ride the Beloved Country, the joberg2c takes riders through the very heart of South Africa. The event attracts a mix of local and international riders, and in 2019, joBerg2c will welcome 233 internationals from 27 different countries.

Mountain bike racers, joberg2c

© Kelvin Trautman

Community-driven

Each race village is run by a school that has benefited dramatically before, during and after the race has passed through their area. Also, each seconding table along the route belongs to a different charitable organisation that benefits from the race in a way that ensures their support every year.

In 2018, the joberg2c paid out R4-million to schools and institutions to host the race villages and water points.

“We paid out a further R1.2-million to various suppliers directly on our route and towards our route building,” notes Wapnick. “Our partner schools vary from Model C to private schools, which all – in their own way – are keeping communities alive. In fact, the event is the biggest source of external income for most of the communities that joberg2c passes through!”

Mountain bike racer greeting community, joberg2c

© Em Gatland

In addition to the paid beneficiaries, joberg2c also works with official charities that use the event to raise funds. The joberg2c team has partnered with a few charities that have done invaluable work, including The Nelson Mandela Library Project and Surgeons for Little Lives. The joberg2c team recently attended the latest library launch made possible by the race, which is the 13th library directly on the race route.

“We also sponsor a Soweto-based team as joberg2c: this team started out as four, and has grown to 10 talented riders,” adds Wapnick.

Local boy and mountain bike racers, joberg2c

© Kelvin Trautman

Empowering local business

Beyond making escapist fantasies a reality, joberg2c works with as many companies as it can that are truly making a difference in South Africa. So whether it is clothing manufacturers or marquee hiring companies, the event team carefully researches the company and how many people they employ, and their ethics.

Local school children waving to mountain bike racer, joberg2c

© Em Gatland

“Today, the total amount paid back into communities is approximately R30-million (a conservative estimate!) over a 10-year period,” says Wapnick. “We look forward to many more thrilling years of riding the beloved country and giving back to SA’s incredible people and communities.”

To find out more, visit www.joberg2c.co.za.

Glen Haw, Gary Green and Craig Wapnick

Glen Haw, Gary Green and Craig Wapnick



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