[imagesource: Kirsty Hatt]
Yesterday, South Africa celebrated Youth Day.
I spent it with my feet up, doing very little, but props to the Bishops Diocesan College school community, who raised well over R250 000 in aid of VUSA, a rugby and learning academy in Langa.
They did this by completing a gruelling 24-hour cycle challenge, with more than 80 people teaming up in groups of up to six for indoor cycling shifts at the Mallett Centre in Rondebosch.
Starting at 4PM on June 15, and pushing through to 4PM yesterday, the participants and fundraisers were the Bishops Diocesan College first, second, and third rugby teams, as well as staff and other learners.
Teams were captained by ex-Bishops rugby internationals including Oli Kebble, Christian Stewart, Rob Fleck, Stuart Abbott, Nick Koster, JJ Gigiano, Mike Fox, Dasch Barber, and Francois Louw, who offered encouragement and support to the boys as they pedalled.
Here’s Makabongwe Kahla (pictured below), VUSA’s Programme Manager:
“We appreciate the support we receive from the Bishops Community.
Giving back and supporting the youth of this country is what we should all be rallying behind.”
Each day, the coaches of VUSA Academy visit three early childhood development centres in Langa to support numeracy and literacy development through play, and through the new mobile library programme, which launched in April.
Coaches also offer school learners in the community a structured after-school programme that includes rugby training each afternoon.
There is also access to extra academic lessons, computer facilities, and a hot meal.
VUSA is a registered NPO started more than 20 years ago by Bishops Prep teacher, Brendan Fogarty, who says that the VUSA coaches are the organisation’s greatest assets.
A team of VUSA coaches also participated in the 24-hour cycle challenge, to help raise funds for the children that they mentor and coach.
The challenge was also powered by Butler’s Pizza, with those taking part able to load up on the tastiest carbs the city has to offer.
Josh Carnell (left, of the Bishops Grade 12 Mallett team) and Joseph Ruiz von Walter (right, of the Bishops Grade 12 White team) clearly enjoyed refuelling:
This is one occasion where you might rule out The Rotherham, and opt for that slightly thicker base and cheese topping.
Tony Reeler, the principal of Bishops Diocesan College, said he was impressed by his learners and “their willingness to get involved in this very worthy activity on this public holiday and particularly as the boys have just completed their exams.”
If you would like to contribute, you can still do so via the Backabuddy campaign.
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