Desert Dash weer voor ons deur

Fietsresies bekendgestel

07 October 2019 | Sports

Paulina Nashilundo, Swakopmund burgemeester; “Ons sien verskriklik uit na die geleentheid … ons sal altyd bereid wees om hand by te sit”

Swakopmund • Iréne-Mari van der Walt

Met die jaarlikse Nedbank Desert Dash wat vanjaar op 6 Desember begin, is die bal aan die rol gesit met die bekendstelling van die bekende resies wat in Swakopmund plaasgevind het.
Nedbank se hoof finansiële beampte, J.G. van Graan, het tydens die geleentheid gesê hierdie is die eerste keer in die 5-jaar geskiedenis van Nedbank se betrokkenheid by die Desert Dash, wat dit buite die hoofstad bekend gestel is. “Ons doen dit uit eerbied vir die gasvryheid wat ons so bevoorreg is om in Swakopmund te geniet,” het hy gesê.
Op sy beurt het Leander Borg van die bank se bemarkingsafdeling gesê hulle verwag vanjaar meer as ’n duisend fietsryers wat deelneem, waarvan sowat 60% Namibiërs is. Die res is buitelandse atlete. Borg glo dat in vorige jare meer as 90% van die atlete Namibiërs was en dat die afname in plaaslike deelnemers ’n jammerte is, maar tog is hy optimisties oor die internasionale belangstelling.
Op haar beurt het Swakopmund se burgemeester, Paulina Nashilundo, gesê die Desert Dash dien as ’n finansiële inspuiting vir Swakopmund se ekonomie. “Ons sien verskriklik na die geleentheid uit. De Desert Dash het nog altyd ’n hupstoot vir ons dorp meegebring. Siende dat ons daarby baat, sal ons altyd bereid wees om hand by te sit waar dit ook al mag nodig wees,” het sy gesê.
Dertig van die 240 fietsryers wat vanjaar die 373 km resies solo aandurf, is vroue. “Twee van ons land se grootse fietsryers, Tristan de Lange (’n verdedigende Afrika-kampioen) en Alex Miller is die kern van ’n viermanspan wat vir podiumplekke veg,” aldus Van Graan.
Hy is egter van mening die grootste helde van die 24-uur resies is diegene wat die taak vir ’n groter doel aanpak – naamlik spanne wat ten bate van die Dagbreek Spesiale Skool, vir Legacy of Love, en die Lithon Foundation ry.
Adriaan Grobler pak namens die Lithon Foundation die Desert Dash aan omdat hy twee jaar gelede dringend ’n leweroorplanting nodig gehad het en dié stigting dit vir hom moontlik gemaak het.



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