Highlighting the plight of South African farmers
The Hectic Promotions non-profit organisation has added an annual road cycling race in Bapsfontein to its portfolio to highlight the challenge South African farmers are facing as a result of farm attacks and droughts in South Africa.
The Fat Sheep Classic takes place on 6 September in Bapsfontein and presents a distance of 110km on delightfully quiet and rider friendly roads.
The event starts and finishes at the quaint and revamped Bapsfontein Hotel and it offers cyclists with a great weekend escape opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of Pretoria and Johannesburg.
Bapsfontein sits within the borders of Gauteng. It is centered between Benoni, Bronkhorstspruit, Kempton Park, and the eastern suburbs of Pretoria.
The event is limited with no more than 300 people (inclusive of event staff) and riders will be set off in batches of 50 and 15 minutes apart. No riders older than 60 are permitted to take part.
The Fat Sheep is a CSA sanctioned race open for riders with a valid CSA membership and/or racing license (for racing categories) only. For riders without valid membership, a day license will be required
The entry fee is R350 and registration takes place at the the Bapsfontein Hotel on the morning of the race from 05:00. The first batch start is at 07:00.
NO LATE ENTRIES WILL BE ACCEPTED. AFTER ALLOWED NUMBER OF ENTRIES HAVE BEEN RECEIVED, NO ADDITIONAL ENTRIES CAN BE ACCEPTED.
All cyclists will be seeded according to the National Seeding Ladder. RaceTec will provide timing, but there will be no waterpoints on route, also to comply with Covid 19 regulations.
The roads will be well marshalled by our experience Hectic Promotions marshalling crew under the expert eye of Patrick Smit.
The route option are mildly undulating and don’t include any significant climbs, so it presents a nice and fast race which will ease riders back into the season following the winter.
“Farm attacks are continuing unabatedly, and, in most instances, farmers are reliant on themselves to keep their families and workers safe because of their remoteness,” said Hectic Promotions owner Mauritz Meyer.
Meyer believes strongly that the plight of farmers and their continued dedication to providing South Africa with food security, particularly in our current challenging Coronavirus environment, deserves to be highlighted.
“We have decided that the presentation of a road race in Bapsfontein is the next logical extension of our charity driven cycling race presentation platform,” said Meyer.
“Bapsfontein represents a passionate farming community which has sadly been plagued by farm attacks for a long time. It’s a short travel stint for our Gauteng based cyclists and Delmas has access to some sublime road routes,” he said.
“The nationwide droughts have become very serious in the country, particularly in the Karoo. Farmers are on their knees and many have had to sell their farms or have been foreclosed on.
“Livestock numbers have decreased alarmingly, and there is a real concern that the backlog will lead to food shortages within the next three years.”
Many deserving upliftment projects have seen the light and are making a remarkable contribution to the plight of farmers.
“We have decided to support one such project,” said Meyer. “The Fat Sheep project was started by Chrisma Botha from Murraysburg. She started crocheting the most beautiful sheep soft toys and selling her creations to subsidise their household income.
“Her ‘Fat Sheep’ became so popular that she couldn’t keep up with the demand, which quickly spread beyond the borders of Murraysburg.”
According to Meyer, Botha now has a team of farmer’s wives who she employs to assist with the crochet work. With funds made from the project, she is making a remarkable difference in the community of Murraysburg.
Hectic Promotions currently manages four mass participation cycling events which attract a combined participation total of 14 000 cyclists.
The company’s signature events are the Cycle4CANSA Classic, which is now in its 23rd year of presentation and 2019 saw us present the third edition of the Bestmed Tshwane Classic, which attracted 7 000 cyclists.
“The Fat Sheep Classic is going to be more than a race. It will constitute a celebration of the human spirit and achievement,” concluded Meyer.