What I love about MTB stage races and many other sporting events, is that they give back to the community by starting foundations and projects or working through the infrastructure of other organisations to help the less fortunate. So by participating in these events, we actually stimulate a social responsibility to help others and well, it’s just awesome!

The upcoming ABSA Cape Epic which starts on Saturday, has two charities for 2009 – The Big Tree Foundation (really love this one) and the JAG Foundation.

Big Tree was founded by the ABSA Cape Epic and is funded through the race. It’s mission it is to make a lasting positive impact through education projects in the towns that host the Absa Cape Epic and the Cape Odyssey (The running version of the Epic!).

The Big Tree Foundation focuses on supplying: uniforms, stationery, desks and bicycles (to get to and from school).

In its first year Big Tree facilitated the donation of 200 bicycles, 240 school desks, 2400 school text books, in addition to its work with communities at the race. By the end of the fourth Absa Cape Epic in 2007, over 10 000 children had passed through its interactive education programmes as well as its bicycle skills workshops which were hosted at the race venue each day.

The ABSA Cape Epic organising team – Grandstand Management, have created a comprehensive list of ways that you could get involved with and raise money for The Big Tree Foundation…all I can say is that they must have had a good brainstorm because the list is quite creative!

If you would like to get involved with the Big Tree Foundation, click here for more info:

The JAG Foundation is also a great programme and is a new addition for the ABSA Cape Epic for 2009. Headed by former South African long distance runner Elana Meyer, it aims to inspire South Africa’s disadvantaged children to build a positive future for themselves and their families by encouraging them to participate in various sport-related programmes at grassroots level. By instilling sporting values for life, JAG aims to create an environment for South Africa’s children to fulfil their dreams and thereby rebuild communities.

If you would like to get involved with the JAG Foundation, click here for more info:


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