This year’s Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic official launch event on 1st August 2019 revealed a number of exciting initiatives and developments for this year’s race. The Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga played host to an event that saw cycling royalty, sponsors, key stakeholders and media soak up the exciting announcements – despite the chilly winter weather.
A very familiar voice and commentator at major sporting events, Steve Saunders, was on hand to facilitate the discussions with Race Director, Annie Batchelder, and other key stakeholders around the numerous developments being revealed for this year’s Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic. “Riding for a cause has always been an important part of the Tsogo Sun Amashova, but this year the ‘Spirit of Shova’ is being taken to another level. We are so excited at being part of the GivenGain platform which has officially partnered with the Tsogo Sun Amashova in order to take ‘riding for a cause’ to new heights. We are anticipating a substantial amount of funds being raised this year as individual riders, charities and corporates join forces to ride for worthy causes,” stated Batchelder during the launch event.
The Amashova Durban Classic has always encouraged participating riders to ‘ride for a cause’ and to date organisations such as CHOC, MadeForMore, Hero777, The Bible Society, Hospice and CANSA have successfully used the race as a platform to raise funds. Charity participation has continued to grow, which is why the race organisers decided that enlisting the help of GivenGain, a globally recognised digital donation platform, to streamline the donation process was a logical next step. GivenGain Operational Manager, Jannie Smith, says: “GivenGain works with charities in 65 countries and currently partners with 17 major sporting events worldwide. In the past we have partnered with the likes of the Cape Town Marathon and the ABSA Cape Epic as well as large organisations like the World Wildlife Foundation and other much smaller non-profit organisations and events to raise money. We have become a credible and trusted digital platform that allows people to easily donate to their chosen cause without hefty admin fees being applied. The platform is easy to sign up to and use – which is a win for both fundraisers and the charities themselves. We are very excited to formalise our partnership with the Tsogo Sun Amashova event this year and look forward to achieving great things with them”.
To further assist with fundraising efforts Amashova’s race organisers have started the ‘Corporate Charity Challenge’ which is an initiative to encourage businesses to enter teams of five cyclists into any of the race distances with the intention of raising funds through the GivenGain platform. Title sponsors, Tsogo Sun announced at the launch event that they would be entering a team and have challenged Vodacom who have accepted the challenge. “Besides contributing to a good cause, there are a number of other benefits and incentives to companies entering a team – which is why it’s not surprising that when we challenged Vodacom to follow our lead in entering a team they accepted without hesitation. We invite all other corporates, regardless of industry or sector to take up the challenge too,” explained John Aritho, GM of the Beverley Hills Hotel.
Apart from the feel good factor of this growing race, the Amashova organisers also announced several other firsts they have up their sleeve to ensure a great race day for participants and spectators alike. This year marks the inaugural relay race on the 160km route where teams of two riders can race the new longer distance introduced last year, with the changeover point being at the 65km start in Cato Ridge. “The relay is a great opportunity for cyclists who would like to participate in a team event that involves a challenging distance and route with complete road closure. We are constantly looking for ways to introduce new ideas that would add value to our cyclists,” explained Batchelder.
In an exciting move for the pro cyclists, the elite men’s race has been moved to the challenging 160km route – making it one of the only major cycling races in SA to offer a competitive race over this extensive distance. For the elite women cyclists, Batchelder was proud to announce at the launch event that also for the first time in the race’s history, male and female winners will win equal prize money. “This development is in keeping with international practices and other major sporting events and we are proud to be on board with this important evolution in sports,” exclaimed Batchelder.
Participating cyclists will be glad to hear that this year’s Tsogo Sun Amashova is “powered by Cycle Lab” who will be giving each rider 4 x R100 instore Cycle Lab vouchers to redeem at any Cycle Lab store nationwide until March next year. The Tsogo Sun Amashova is also delighted to welcome NightwinG Couriers as their official courier partner, with Trans-sporT as the official bicycle transport from Johannesburg and Cape Town. Ensuring the safety of riders to reach the finish line will be FMGH Volvo as the official Vehicle Partner and ER24 are the official medical partner of the race.
The 2019 Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic launch event also marked the official media partnership with East Coast Radio. Tanya Davis, East Coast Radio’s Marketing Manager said, “We believe this to be a fitting partnership between two organisations that both play important roles within the KwaZulu-Natal community. We are so excited to be the official broadcast partner for this year’s race and look forward to creating some exciting awareness and content about the Amashova race over the next few months.”