Durban - Twin sisters are set to cycle from England to France in the name of charity.
Kelly and Katie Brazier will take part in the Pedal to Paris Cycle Challenge and ride on behalf of ChildFund, a non-profit organisation that uses sport to change children’s lives. They also aim to provide a platform for underprivileged children to express themselves and play through sport.
Kelly, a creative director for Halo Agency in Johannesburg, said they initially got involved after their dad attended a presentation by South African adventurer Ron Rutland before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kelly said: “In his presentation, Rutland shared his epic journey cycling from Cape Town Stadium to begin a remarkable trek by bicycle through every country on mainland Africa and most of Europe on his way to the Rugby World Cup 2015 in England. His goal was ‘to support the Springboks and celebrate health, vitality, mobility, adventure and a special life’. The journey took him 27 months, through 75 countries covering 42 000km.”
She added that with the Rugby World Cup heading to Asia (Japan) for the first time in 2019, Rutland saw a once-in-a-generation opportunity to “Race to RWC'” to raise money and awareness for RWC’s official charity partner, ChildFund Rugby. He cycled 20 093km over 230 days, through 27 countries, ending at Tokyo Stadium to hand over the whistle for the opening game.
She said this led to Rutland’s latest challenge by trying to go from Japan to France and his appeal for other South African cyclists to join him. Kelly said after this presentation, her dad signed up the whole family to join him in the final leg of the challenge, which will conclude before the first game between France and New Zealand on September 8.
“We will start our journey on September 5 from Twickenham Stadium in London and cycle about 300km (1900m elevation) over three days to arrive at Stade de France in Paris the night before the opening ceremony and game of the Rugby World Cup 2023,” said Kelly.
“It feels really exciting and we are looking forward to joining an amazing group of people who are doing this incredible adventure for a great cause. There is so much to look forward to as we will also be attending the opening match of the RWC with Rutland and a few others from the group.”
Katie, a doctor based in the UK, echoed her sister’s sentiments.
“It’s an honour to be riding with Ron Rutland. He is an exceptional person who has dedicated his life to taking the path less travelled and doing so for the good of others.”
The Independent on Saturday