Durban - The KAP sani2c mountain bike stage race is synonymous with the best of South African mountain biking, and since it started in 2005 to raise funds for a local farm school in KZN, it has continued to innovate, not only to develop the experience for participants, but by finding ways for sponsors to partner with the event and benefit from their involvement. All of this is underpinned by the event’s original goal and continued ethos, that of uplifting local communities along its 286km route.
The sani2c team has formalised their structure to enable sponsors to become B-BBEE partners and build their B-BBEE scorecard through their involvement. B-BBEE points are earned via Enterprise Development, Supplier Development and Socio–Economic Development.
For founder and organiser, “Farmer” Glen Haw, this has widened the scope of what the event can do to support the many communities along the race route: “sani2c was started to raise funds for the farm school my children attended at the time. While we are thrilled that the event has grown into the largest mountain bike stage race in the world, we want to ensure that our community beneficiaries remain empowered through employment opportunities, skills development and the provision of infrastructure.
“Education is the key to our childrens’ futures, and our continued support of the 16 schools that benefit from sani2c each year is of huge importance to us,” he said.
During the 2018 KAP sani2c, community members provided R10 million in services to the event – the innovative community model for the event sees volunteers from schools and charitable organisations provide the services such as catering at the race villages, shuttles for riders’ vehicles, among others, and the funds then go to those organisations and schools.
In addition, the sani2c Development Trust assists with many social development initiatives. The Trust has recently purchased land for R 1.3 million, giving security to the newly established Kings Harvest Academy to develop the infrastructure needed to expand. Lynford School, which was the first beneficiary of the sani2c race, has developed hugely during the 14 years of the event and it now serves the wider farming community in the Ixopo area. The school has grown by 40% in the last five years, and has been able to award bursaries to 33 pupils who would otherwise not be able to afford to attend.
KAP, a JSE listed company, has partnered with the event for the past three years, and have announced their intention to extend their involvement to 2020. “At KAP we have seen first-hand the positive impact our involvement has on the communities of sani2c. Partnering with an event committed to uplifting the communities in which it operates, has been very rewarding for us, and we look forward to developing our relationship further over the next two years,” said CEO Gary Chaplin.
Super Group is a logistics partner with sani2c and they sponsor over 30 eight ton high volume trucks to move competitor kit each day during the event. Marketing Executive, John Mackay said: “For us being a part of sani2c is far more than a sponsorship that achieves brand visibility with an influential audience. We are proud to be part of the event and what it does for the KZN communities along its route. This is an example for other events to follow.”
The Independent on Saturday