Home competition discipline Lupus Classic raises awareness and excitement in Kimberley

Lupus Classic raises awareness and excitement in Kimberley

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The Blade Health and Wellness Lupus Classic Cycling event, held recently in Kimberley, not only drew attention to the challenges faced by those living with Lupus but also celebrated the spirit of community and support among cyclists from near and far.

Blade Health and Wellness in Kimberley hosted another successful Lupus Classic last weekend. Seen at the event (from left) are: Ruchen Tellis, Leandra Tellis (Lupus warrior) and Granny Kgomongwe who is also a Lupus warrior. Picture: Danie van der Lith

The Blade Health and Wellness Lupus Classic Cycling event, held recently in Kimberley, not only drew attention to the challenges faced by those living with Lupus but also celebrated the spirit of community and support among cyclists from near and far.

The event kicked off early last Saturday morning at the Flamingo Casino, where approximately 200 cyclists took on either the 40- or 90-kilometre challenges.

Cyclists were treated to a sunrise as they left on their 40- and 90-kilometre races. Picture: Danie van der Lith

The DFA spoke to Rudy van der Schyff, a cyclist all the way from Cape Town. Van der Schyff expressed his admiration for the event, emphasising the warmth of the Kimberley community.

“One of the members in the club from Kimberley invited me to come up, so I decided to attend and also bring the wife along, and we made a weekend of it.

“The Lupus Classic was one of the best events I had ever attended. The prize money they gave away was a lot of money, and the bicycles that they gave away made the event on another level.

“Next year I will be coming down with a team, and we would rather not attend the Race to Sea event in Johannesburg but rather the Lupus Classic in Kimberley,” he concluded.

Speaking of prize money, in the 90-kilometre race, the top finisher was awarded R 2,500, followed by R 1,500 for second place, and R 750 for third place.

In the 40-kilometre race, the first-place winner took home R 750, while second place received R 500, and third place received R 250. Generously sponsored by the Department of Health, these prizes added an extra layer of excitement to the event.

Early in the morning, cyclists from across South Africa gathered at the starting point of the Lupus Classic, a race to raise awareness for Lupus. Picture: Danie van der Lith

Additionally, participants had the chance to win big through lucky draws. Bicycles and backpacks from Gariep Hospital were among the prizes up for grabs, enhancing the thrill of the occasion and rewarding attendees for their support and participation.

After the event, Vuyo Thati, owner of Blade Health and Wellness, reflected on the overwhelming success of the Lupus Classic.

“It was a great success, and we received positive comments from all over, especially from the cyclists that came from outside of Kimberley,” Thati remarked. He said that cyclists from Johannesburg, Cape Town, Kuruman, Welkom, Bloemfontein, Potchefstroom, and Postmasburg, commended the event’s organisation and purpose, advocating for its continuation as an annual affair.

“I really want to extend my gratitude to the paramedics and traffic officials, whose support ensured the safety and well-being of all participants throughout the event,” he added.

Meanwhile, local cyclists echoed this sentiment, emphasising the scarcity of road races in Kimberley and the potential for the Lupus Classic to invigorate the cycling community.

Thati took the opportunity to extend a heartfelt thank you to each and every sponsor who contributed to the Lupus Classic. He emphasised that their generous support was crucial to the race’s outstanding success.

These sponsors are: Bbb Mojaki, Shell Ultra City, Avbob, Ncta, Reflecto, Infinity, Department Of Health, Flamingo, Alpha Beta Cycles, the DFA, Gariep MediClinic, ER24, Breakeaway Cycle, Sakam, Party and More, VW Kimberley, 32gi, Talama, Nissan Kimberley, Mr Sandman, ARB Butchery, Khans Catering, MTN, Ministry of Youth, Woman, Persons with Disabilities Communication and E Government, Manz Holdings, and the Department of Safety.

Cyclists were seen along the route, raising awareness for Lupus. Picture: Danie van der Lith

With resounding praise from participants and organisers alike, the Lupus Classic emerges as more than just a cycling event — it stands as a beacon of awareness, camaraderie, and hope for those affected by Lupus.

As plans for future editions take shape, the Lupus Classic promises to remain a cornerstone of advocacy and unity in Kimberley’s vibrant cycling community, fostering connections and spreading awareness for a worthy cause.

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