KwaZulu-Natal – Western Cape Premier Helen Zille will be cycling for charity at Amashova race taking place in October.
Zille, also the DA leader, hopes to raise funds for NGO Hi Hopes, an early intervention programme for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
She will take part in the shorter cycle race of 40km.
“Hi Hopes is very close to my heart.
“They help families with deaf children to find the right solutions for their children,” the premier said.
Last year, Zille said she had not ridden a bike in 50 years.
“I was challenged to participate in this year’s Argus [the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour], which I did.
“I loved it, although it was a lot of physical activity, which really is not my thing,” she said.
Hi Hopes, launched in 2006, works in partnership with audiologists, speech therapists and other professionals to support families that have a deaf or hard-of-hearing child.
The programme, which falls under the Centre for Deaf Studies at Wits University, has provided assistance to more than 500 children with hearing loss in Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
Last year, the programme was also expanded to the Eastern Cape.
“It is really a great honour to cycle for them (Hi Hopes) to raise awareness and much-needed money.
“I hope that as many people as possible can join me in this adventure,” Zille said.
This year’s Amashova race will take place on October 14, with two races – a 40km one and a 106km one.
Hi Hopes is one of three official charities in the cycle event.
The 106km race will begin at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall while the 40km one will begin at Hillcrest High School.
Both races would end at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Entries will close on September 17.
Last year about 10 000 cyclists participated in the race. More participants are expected this year.
Dean Macpherson, DA chief whip for eThekwini region and team organiser for Hi Hopes cycle team, said Zille was training three times a week.
“She wants to give the best performance to raise a lot of money for charity,” he said.
Macpherson said the team were waiting for confirmation from other politicians, radio DJs and sports personalities who are expected to participate. – Daily News