With its objectives aimed at Social Cohesion, Nation Building and UNITY, the UNITE 2.0 Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day was initiated to bring South Africans together to demonstrate the depth of South Africans' commitment to the late President Nelson Mandela's vision of sports and culture as a nation builder and a unifying force for a cohesive society.
Spearheaded by the Department of Sport and Recreation and the Department of Arts and Culture, the 2014 Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day also aims to mobilise the youth. UNITE 2.0 is a call to action for South Africa’s youth, as the generation charged with living the Mandela Legacy, to Unite in building a brighter future for all.
In partnership with Cycling SA and Athletics SA, UNITE 2.0 proudly announced two new sporting codes as the focus for this year’s Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day.
Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula has expressed recently how he has become a fitness fanatic and wants to make South Africa a healthy nation. His inspiration, Nelson Mandela, was also a fitness fanatic, and Minister Mbalula will be partaking in the 67km cycling race. This should be an easy ride for the Minister, who since taking part in the Cape Town Cycle Tour, has kept fit by cycling 40km every morning.
We are also proud to announce that Darryl Impey and Chris Froome will be ambassadors for UNITE 2.0 and will both be taking part on the day, leading the way for our cyclists.
Johannesburg-born Impey needs little introduction to the South African cycling fraternity, and is arguably South Africa’s leading cyclist at the moment. The former Tour of Turkey winner, currently races for the Orica-GreenEDGE professional team, and recently won the Tour of Alberta race in Canada.
Froome was born in Kenya, and was raised both there and in South Africa, where he went to St Johns College. He races for Team Sky and represents Britain. He is currently one the world’s leading cyclists and has won a number of stages in the Tour de France in the past, and is the two-time defending champion of both the Tour of Oman and Tour de Romandie.
On 22 November 2014, the day’s events will feature a cycling race, a road running / walk race, and a fun walk. The sporting events will be followed by musical entertainment hosted on Union Building lawns from 12pm – 6pm.
Cyclists from around South Africa are invited to compete in the 67km race, the distance in remembrance of the 67 years Mandela devoted to social activism.
The single lap route, starting at Loftus Versveld and finishing at the Union buildings, is relatively short in pro riders terms, but will be quite challenging, with over 800m of vertical ascent included in the route.
Starting at 6am, the cyclists will pass by many of Pretoria’s most important landmarks including Fort Klapperkop, the Telkom Tower, UNISA, Freedom Park, the Airforce base, Pretoria Central Prison and the Voortrekker Monument.
With the Jacarandas in full bloom, it will be a picturesque and beautiful circuit that will end at the Union Buildings, where an award ceremony will be held at 11am for all race winners. With full road closure, the only event in Pretoria to do this, the race will be a safe environment for cyclists, who will also compete for the largest prize purse in the history of cycling in South Africa.
The winners in both the male and female categories, will receive an unprecedented R150 000 each, second-placed male and female riders cyclists will receive R100 000, while third-place riders will pocket R70 000.
On top of this, the prize winners will also be able to nominate a charity of their choosing to receive R50 000.
The Department of Sport and Recreation in partnership with the Department of Arts and Culture calls on all South Africans to come together and participate in this momentous occasion.
REGISTRATION FOR CYCLISTS
Cyclists need to register before November 15th, however early registration is best as registration may close earlier if capacity is reached before.
Registration costs R250 and competitors will all receive a T-shirt, goodie bag and race pack.
Cyclists can register on the website (www.unite4mandela.co.za) and also find all relevant information for the process on the site. If anything is confusing For more information and clarity, please check the frequently asked questions - www.unite4mandela.co.za/faq.php .
Photo: Minister of Sport and Recreation Mr. Fikile Mbalula announced the 2014 Ambassadors for the UNITE 2.0 Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day. He’s pictured here with the group of ambassadors featuring actors, singers, cyclists, footballers and runners. Photo Credit: MRSK / Mariska van den Brink