The Katjiepiering pre-primary school in Pretoria West has been appointed as sole beneficiary of this year’s Tshwane Diamond Classic, which takes place in Pretoria on 24 May.
The second edition of the annual Diamond Classic starts and finishes at the Baviaanspoort Correctional Centre on the outskirts of Pretoria on the way to Cullinan and everything is in place to present cyclists and their families with another delightful day out in secure surroundings.
This year the road race boasts the distinction of having official seeding status for the Cape Town Cycle Tour.
“We have been helping the school for a while now, but they are in a desperate financial position,” said Diamond Classic owner Mauritz Meyer.
“We have now prioritised the school in our fund raising and all proceeds from the Diamond Classic will be allocated to the school.”
Katjiepiering was founded in 1982 as an Article 21 Company and is situated in Hermanstad. It looks after poor kids of all backgrounds in the greater Pretoria West area.
“The school is falling through the cracks as a result of the worsening economy and rising unemployment among the parents. There are 61 kids in the school and most of them can’t pay school fees anymore and some can only pay half or less of the school fees.
“The headmaster, Annette Cunniff, works under immensely challenging circumstances and we would like to assist as much as we can,” said Meyer.
Annette says she has a passion for the kids at the school. “That’s my main motivator to keep going. We need to build a better future for these kids and the personnel. The personnel at the school stand together and support each other. The community also plays a big part in our support structure.”
Annette says her long term goal is to grow the school and make it financially sustainable. “We have so many families in our community that need our help, so a big part of our vision is to also try and motivate the community and give them a sense of self-worth.
“In the short term our goal is just to remain open. We have an overdue account with the City of Tshwane which is a real worry.
“We also provide the kids with healthy meals three times a day, and we’re forever concerned about the funding and sustainability of the feeding scheme.
“Another major challenge is finding donors who can fund the kids who can’t afford school fees and then we also need funds for salaries and the upkeep of the school.”
The kids in the school are aged from 8 months to 6 year-year-olds and the facility has 12 permanent staff.
If their balance sheet doesn’t improve drastically, according to Meyer, the school will need to consider letting some personnel go because there simply isn’t enough available in the monthly pot to sustain the staffing needs.
“This is not just going to impact negatively on staff, but also on the kids because the quality of the supervision and education will suffer as a result.
“We replaced the school’s roof last year and we have continuously been busy with revamping and ensuring the general upkeep of the facility. We would like to keep on making a difference to try and ensure the school’s sustainability,” said Meyer.
“It would really be very sad if the school has to close its doors. It’s a beacon of light for a struggling community.”
The Diamond Classic offers two main route options of 110km and 50km, which both start and finish at the Baviaanspoort Correctional Facility just outside Pretoria on the R513 on the way to Cullinan.
The race is presented in memory of Centurion cyclist Andrew Randall and Dr Willie Fourie from Johannesburg who was tragically killed on their bikes before last year’s edition.
Cullinan and surrounds represent the perfect route option for a mass participation road cycling event with delightfully quiet roads and good road surfaces, and it’s all very adjacent to Pretoria.
The 110km route presents 1030 metres of elevation gain and is mildly undulating, except for a sharp climb on the outskirts of Cullinan at the Petra Diamond Mine up to the 18km mark, which is set to stretch the bunches early on.
The 50km route presents 561metres of vertical ascent and cuts out the long-distance loop towards Bronkhorstspruit and back.
A kids’ race (3-4-year-olds and 5-7-year-olds) and 5km fun walk for the entire family is presented in conjunction with the road race inside the grounds of the Baviaanspoort Correctional Facility.
To enter and for more information go to www.hecticpromotions.co.za
Picture caption: Headmaster Annette Cunniff (far right) with some of her staff members at Katjiepiering School.
TSHWANE DIAMOND CLASSIC – QUICK FACTS
Date: 24 May 2020
Venue: Baviaanspoort Correctional Facility (Zambezi Drive off-ramp R513 off N1 towards Cullinan)
Distances: 110km, 50km
Kids Rides (2-4-year-olds and 5-7-year-olds) and 5km Fun Walk: 08h00 (enter with a R10 donation at Rugby Stadium Race Office on the morning)
Timed by RaceTec
To access the 110km Strava Route go to https://www.strava.com/routes/16875005
To access the 50km Strava Route go to https://www.strava.com/routes/16874877
Number collection will take place at the following venues:
Tuesday 19 May 2020: 10h00 – 16h00 The Bicycle Company (Larch Street, Centurion)
Wednesday 20 May 2020: 10h00 – 16h00 Cycle Lab Boksburg Megastore (North Rand Road, Boksburg)
Thursday 21 May 2020: 10h00 – 16h00 Cycle Lab Fourways Megastore (Nicol Grove, Johannesburg)
Friday 22 May 2020: 10h00 – 16h00 Solomons Cycles (Lynwood, Pretoria)
Saturday 23 May 2020: 09h00 – 13h00 Solomons Cycles (Gerrit Maritz Street, Pretoria North)
The event caters for all categories of licensed CSA cyclists as well as open/seeded riders. Riders will be seeded in bunches according to the Cycle Events National Seeding Ladder.
RELEASED BY HECTIC PROMOTIONS.
FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES PHONE 083 269 7659 OR EMAIL DEVILLIERSCYCLING@MWEB.CO.ZA