Cape Town, 3 September. A round-the-clock spinathon effort by over 400 pupils and members of the Bishops Diocesan College school community has raised over R1 million for the VUSA Rugby & Learning Academy in Langa.

The third annual Vusa Cycle Challenge, sponsored by Investec, once again saw Bishops boys, staff, Old Diocesans and parents gritting their teeth to engage in the 24-hour VUSA Cycle Challenge.

VUSA is dedicated to uplifting three registered ECD Centres and five primary schools in Langa with numeracy and literacy programmes, as well as an afterschool programme that provides nutritious meals and a safe haven. A grassroots rugby programme not only teaches the sport but also offers a healthy pastime for these youngsters.

Ultra-endurance cyclist Grant Lottering inspired all present with a solo ride of the full 24-hour challenge. Lottering said the VUSA NGO was close to his heart as it supported primary school children by offering academic guidance, sport, recreation and essential nourishment. “The event tested my physical limits but I knew that every kilometre I covered offered a brighter future for the children of Langa through donations received.”

“Grant’s story of his comeback after a near fatal crash while cycling in Italy 10 years ago has made him an inspiration to many, and we were extremely fortunate to have him lead the way,” said Brendan Fogarty, VUSA Executive Director. Despite being told he would never be able to cycle again, Lottering went on to cycle distances and terrain most would consider impossible, raising millions for charities in the process.

Grant’s unwavering determination and resilience to complete all 24 hours of the challenged imbued all of those present with the fortitude to achieve their own goals.”

The event has improved on its fundraising goals with each passing year. “In 2021, we raised R270 000, last year we raised R500 000 and this year our aim was to raise R700 000 and we reached over R1 million,” Fogarty said.

The event was held at Bishops’ Piley Rees field, where the committed participants had their legs spinning in sessions of about four hours from 9am on Saturday 2 September until 9am the following morning.

Makabongwe Kahla, VUSA’s Programme Manager and one of the participants of the VUSA 24-hour cyclethon, said the event had become a highlight on the NGO’s calendar.

Tony Reeler, Principal of Bishops Diocesan College, said events such as the VUSA Cycle Challenge reminded the learners about the importance of giving back. “Each act of  kindness sets in motion a powerful cycle of empowerment within our supportive Bishops community. The reciprocal benefits enrich not only those we reach, but also our own Bishops pupils, fostering a sense of pride in their remarkable achievements”.

“The VUSA Cycle Challenge is a reminder that we, as the Bishops Diocesan School community, can make a difference in the lives of others through our actions. This event is a testament to our commitment to bringing positive change to those who need it most,” said Nic Allison, Head Boy of Bishops Diocesan School.

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