A group of medical students from Stellenbosch University are cycling from the Northern Cape to Cape Agulhas. Photo: Supplied
Cape Town – A group of Stellenbosch University (SU) medical students have overcome strong winds and scorching heat in the first three days of their cycling journey from the Northern Cape to Cape Agulhas to raise awareness and funds for fellow students.

The Hippocampus team of 30 medical students began their journey at Vioolsdrif and arrived at Vanrhynsdorp yesterday. They aim to cycle 1 000km in eight days.

This is the second team to undertake the trip after a group of five students raised R60 000 last year.

They established the Nkululeko Fund, named after one of the team who recently learnt how to cycle.

Cycling for the second time, Breda Reed said the project was initiated after they noticed that students had equal opportunities, but not equal resources to benefit from those opportunities.

“This is not something we’re doing for fame, it’s personal experiences in our community.

‘‘We found that if some students didn’t receive financial support from home, many were forced to pay for expenses outside of their academic needs from the food allowances they receive from bursaries.

“These students are people who will look after the health of our country for the next 50 years and should not be struggling to survive while they develop, they should thrive,” Reed said.

The Nkululeko Fund would improve the learning experience at the institution’s Health and Medical Sciences faculty and help students live healthy and balanced lives with dignity, he added.

Reed said the journey had been tough compared to last year because of the extremely warm weather.

“Although the group is bigger this year, it’s not been an easy start. Cramps, sore knees and bums have been experienced these past three days,” he said.

“Nine hours on a bike is a long time, but this experience allows an opportunity for reflection and introspection. Going through a challenging experience, in a space where we can be vulnerable, allows us to encourage each other to be better men for our society, which is a rare thing.

“The team spirit and support from parents and public has been incredible.

“We’re urging people to please support this good cause even R10 can make a difference,” he said.

Follow the group on their journey via their social media. To donate to the cause, visit: https://www.givengain.com/cc/the-nkululeko-fund/

Cape Times