Cycling for youth empowerment

Senior youth worker, Sifiso Hlongwa and Shaun Tait, Chief Operating Officer of the Domino Foundation.

THE Durban highways are set to come alive with the annual aQuellé Tour Durban on Sunday, 24 April.

At the heart of the race lies the effort to raise funds and awareness regarding the Durban North-based non-profit organisation, the Domino Foundation. All the proceeds from the event will be ploughed into organisation that strives to help thousands of young men and women in the Amaoti area, located outside of Verulam, through its community upliftment and life skills programmes.

Representing the foundation along the 45km race is senior youth worker, Sifiso Hlongwa, along with ten members of the Amaoti 3 Cycling Club.

“Five years ago, Club Cappuccino and the Tour Durban event organisers, partnered with The Domino Foundation and encouraged members from the Life Skills Boys Club, at Amaoti 3 School, to take part in the annual race. Domino invited interested pupil from their after school recreation programme to form a small cycling team – with the aim of encouraging youth to take up the sport or as a healthy recreational activity. It was a resource lacking in the community,” he said.

They started out with five members and slowly grew over the years. This year they doubled their initial membership.

“As our name suggests we believe in the power of The Domino Effect. The youth are our future leaders and by impacting their lives now, in a positive manner, we know they will create a knock-on effect and impact the lives of others in the future. You change one life and you change a community,” explained Shaun Tait, Chief Operating Officer of the foundation.

Through the life skills programme, the organisation aims to empower learners to make wise life choices and provide hope and support to individuals affected by HIV/AIDS, said Hlongwa.

“We believe we are nurturing a group of responsible adults by teaching them about healthy friendships, relationships and other important life skills. Our aim is to instil in them a sense of self-worth and purpose and offer them hope for a future free of HIV/AIDS. Through self-empowerment they can work their way out of a life of poverty,” he said.

The aQuellé Tour Durban incorporates a 105km road race, 45km fun race and 55km cyclocross race. Late entries will be taken at registration at Suncoast Casino & Entertainment World from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, 23 April. More information can be found at www.tourdurban.co.za.

 

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