Team MTN-Qhubeka powered by Samsung commits to funding 5,000 bicycles for African students in 2015
This year, Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung will make 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. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung is teaming up with Qhubeka and World Bicycle Relief to rally support around the campaign #BicyclesChangeLives which will fund 5,000 bicycles for students in Africa.
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung has committed to raising funds for 5,000 bicycles that will mobilize African students through its charity partner Qhubeka which is World Bicycle Relief’s program in South Africa. World Bicycle Relief is a global non-profit organization dedicated to advancing education, health and economic opportunities by providing simple, sustainable transportation. Since its founding in 2005, World Bicycle Relief has delivered more than 225,000 specially designed, locally assembled bicycles for people in need. For people in rural, developing areas who often have limited access to transportation, a bicycle helps them overcome the barrier of distance in order to access education, health care and economic opportunities.
“Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung’s entry into the Tour de France this year is a great achievement,” says F.K. Day, Founder and President of World Bicycle Relief. “We stand by them in their commitment to compete at their highest level of sportsmanship, but more importantly, we stand by them in their commitment to give back to the next generation of students fighting for their education in Africa. The 5,000 bicycles that Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung has committed to funding will help students overcome great barriers of distance, by reducing their travel time to school by up to 75%. With time saved each day, these students will be able to study more, improve their academic performance and empower them to follow their dreams.”
Qhubeka is World Bicycle Relief’s program in South Africa that provides bicycles to people in need. Qhubeka is an Nguni word (Zulu and Xhosa) that means ‘to move forward’ or ‘to progress.’ Qhubeka helps people move forward and progress by giving bicycles in return for work done to improve communities, the environment or academic results. Having a bicycle changes lives by increasing the distance people can travel, what they can carry, where they can go and how fast they can get there.
Qhubeka and World Bicycle Relief are dedicated to helping students overcome the challenge of distance through access to a rugged, reliable bicycle. World Bicycle Relief’s 2012 Academic Report found a 28% increase in attendance and a 59% increase in academic performance when students had access to a bicycle. To date, World Bicycle Relief has distributed over 60,000 bicycles to students in 13 African countries through BEEP – World Bicycle Relief’s Bicycles for Educational Empowerment Program.
Doug Ryder, Team Principal at Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung and founder of Ryder Cycling, explains the evolution of the team and its relationship with Qhubeka. “The team was founded in 2007 and has steadily worked its way up from a regional team to now being a Continental Pro Team with bases in South Africa and Italy. Along the way, we developed a relationship with Qhubeka. The success of both organizations has led us to formalize our relationship and we’ve committed to funding 5,000 bicycles this year through our #BicyclesChangeLives campaign,” Ryder says. “Our goal at MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung is to give talented African riders a path into the pro peloton while raising funds for Qhubeka, World Bicycle Relief’s program in South Africa. We’re calling on all our fans to support our fundraising efforts by donating at www.bicycleschangelives.org
Also present at the signing of the contract were Qhubeka founder Anthony Fitzhenry and upcoming cyclist Nicholas Dlamini, who rides for the MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung feeder team. Dlamini took the opportunity to chat to students about his own cycling journey and to try out the steel-framed Buffalo Bicycle – a big change from his carbon fiber race bike. The Buffalo Bicycle is a robust bicycle designed for tough terrain and for heavy load requirements (carrying an extra student, hauling product to market, etc.). Each student who receives a Buffalo Bicycle will also receive a helmet, pump, cable-lock and a small tool for basic maintenance.
To track Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung’s progress towards funding 5 000 bicycles or to donate towards the #BicyclesChangeLives campaign, visit www.bicycleschangelives.org.
About World Bicycle Relief
World Bicycle Relief is a non-profit organization mobilizing people through The Power of Bicycles®. World Bicycle Relief’s mission is accomplished by designing, sourcing and manufacturing bicycles designed to withstand African terrain and conditions, while meeting the needs of students, healthcare workers, farmers, and entrepreneurs. The work performed by World Bicycle Relief encourages local economies and promotes long-term sustainability by locally assembling bicycles, training mechanics, strengthening the spare parts supply chain, in addition to providing high-quality, affordable bicycles to people in need of transportation.
For more information, please visit www.worldbicyclerelief.org. Follow us @PowerOfBicycles and Like us at facebook.com/worldbicyclerelief
About Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung is Africa’s first ever UCI registered Professional Continental cycling team. The talented athletes in Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung race to build exposure for Qhubeka’s initiatives and ride to inspire potential new athletes within the community of Qhubeka bike recipients.
For more information, visit www.teammtnqhubeka.com and www.qhubeka.org