Friday, March 24, 2023

Stanbic’s Ghantsi-Gaborone bikers arrive back home

It was a sight reminiscent of the world famous Tour de France when the Stanbic Bank ‘Charity Ride’ cycling team, led by Chief Executive, Leina Gabaraane, arrived in Gaborone from Ghantsi.

The cyclists, who had undergone a gruelling 710km trip in five days were greeted with wild applause and cheers of admiration, approval and appreciation from tens and tens of staff, families and well wishers as they arrived at the bank’s headquarters in Gaborone on Wednesday morning.

“The team came back in one piece and it is a good feeling to know someone will benefit from what we are doing,” said Gabaraane on arrival.

The CEO said in an exclusive interview that the Charity Ride was a great physical and monetary success for the riders and the charity initiative.

“There were basically two fundamental things we wanted to emphasize with the initiative; promoting a healthy lifestyle and raising money for the under-privileged at the same time,” Gabaraane said.

He added that by the end of the trip they had raised over P400 000 and hoped the money would increase to more than half a million.

One of the riders, Fred McDonald of Travelwise, also told Sunday Standard in an interview that there was a lot of anticipation before the trip and all the riders lived up to it.

“Few of the team members did not think they could pull it off but here we are, they have achieved it,” he enthused.

McDonald describes the journey as relatively comfortable except for the third day when they had to ride against a strong, cold wind.

He says it was only this day that they covered 150 km in over six hours but on average they covered the distance in just over four hours.

“We started as a group of novice riders, worked together as a team, and now we can all take on any challenge that comes our way. Everybody achieved,” McDonald said, “…and the biggest motivation was the fact that we were doing it for charity.”
Nevelle Van Zyl was equally excited about the journey.

“I was blown away and so impressed by the guys. Some guys did experience minor injuries but they all persevered. It was a slow consistent ride and the longest I had ever undertaken,” Van Zyl says. He spoke of the “exhilaration” they all felt when they reached a downhill in Polokwe where some of them were at one point riding at 82 km/hr.

Lorato Molelowatladi, the team’s physiotherapist, says contrary to expectation, she did not have much work to do.
“I only had to deal with some cramps and muscle pulls, nothing serious,” she explains.

Stanbic Bank Public Relations Manager, Ruth Modisane, said they were not yet ready to reveal the identity of would be beneficiaries.

“We will announce in due course and our selection of the beneficiaries will be guided by the bank’s policy on Community Responsibility,”she said.


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