This year, one of the founding members of the iconic Cape Town Cycle Tour (CTCT), the Rotary Club of Claremont is celebrating 33 years of being involved with the largest timed cycle race in the world! From humble beginnings in 1983, when there were a mere 1900 cyclists involved, Rotary’s support has grown to 35 other Rotary Clubs and their affiliates across the Western Cape working closely with the CTCT organisers to share in the mammoth task of making sure that 35 000 cyclists make it safely across the finish line.

“Clubs such as The Rotary Club of Newlands work very closely with the organisers to assist with all the logistics around the different sectors, marshals, refreshment stations and sweeps and The Rotary Club of Bellville manages the finish line area. The Rotary Club of Swellendam drive all the way to Cape Town to support with marshalling for the day,” says Eion Brown, Rotarian from the Rotary Club of Claremont and Cycle Tour stalwart, who has been involved since 1985. “Today Rotarians and their affiliates make up the majority of the 1000 volunteers on the day,” adds Brown.

Rotary is one of the two recipients of the charitable surplus generated through the CTCT, the other being the Pedal Power Association (PPA). “Companies involved and participants in the CTCT know that when money is donated to Rotary, 100% of the funds are invested into community projects and initiatives, and can all be accounted for,” says Brown. “A key area of focus for us at the Rotary Club of Claremont is investing in Early Childhood Development (ECD) projects. We believe in making a meaningful impact in the lives of our youngsters so that they can in turn make a positive contribution to those around them and in the longer term, help build the economy of our country, and play an important role in the future of South Africa.”

Tom Bergmann-Harris, current President of the Rotary Club of Claremont adds, “Ninety percent of a child’s brain development happens before they turn three; unfortunately, about 70% of South Africa’s youth don’t have access to effective ECD support.

“In the last year we invested approximately R3 million in the physical upgrading of ECD facilities, and R1 million to strengthen the capacity of teachers in the Philippi area. A very important element for us is that we work in conjunction with the communities and focus on skills transfer; it is key that the schools and communities become self-sufficient in the long term. Part of the support that we give is to see how best to tap into existing structures and support systems so that we don’t have to start from scratch, or reinvent the wheel,” adds Bergmann-Harris.

Apart from the ECD involvement, the Rotary Club of Claremont has over 60 other projects that also benefit from the funds received through the CTCT. This year the funds will again be invested in key projects in and around the Western Cape, building strong sustainable communities.

With this funding and the amount of projects that need to be invested in, Rotary needs more hands on deck. People who would like to make a meaningful contribution through their skills, knowledge, experience or work, and who would like to be associated with an organisation that has gravitas, integrity and high regard in the social upliftment sphere, are encouraged to contact their local Rotary Club to find out how they can become part of a global movement.

For more information about the Rotary Club of Claremont, visit www.claremontrotary.co.za. We are also on Facebook: www.facebook.com/RotaryClubofClaremont

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Released by Rotary Club of Newlands

Media contact:

Regine le Roux

Mobile: 083 3021528

rotary@reputationmatters.co.za