Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula, and Premier Helen Zille, who are participating in the Institute for Drug-Free Sport’s I Play Fair team cycling in the 2012 Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour on Sunday, to spread the message of ethics, fair-play and anti-doping in sport, took a last training ride together today in preparation for the event.
SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport’s CEO, Khalid Galant, says that through embracing cycling as a healthy activity and riding in the “I Play Fair” colours, the Minister and Premier have generated increased excitement around the Argus event. “Their participation has also contributed to greater awareness around the importance of ‘drug-free’ sport,” he adds. “I hope the thousands of spectators will recognise them along the route on race day and cheer them on.”
Minister Mbalula, who, other than spinning, has not cycled for years, has been training, but due to embarking on his fitness training program late is not confident of his fitness levels to complete the event so will ride part of the race on a tandem being piloted by Andrew Mclean, who is 4 times winner of the Giro del Capo international stage race, 2 times winner of the Cape Epic Masters and winner of the Vets World Cup in Australia. They hope to complete the Argus and receive the coveted “finishers” medal.
Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, who recently got on a bike for the first time in 50 years plans to cycle from the start to Simonstown. Galant reports that Zille has enjoyed training for the cycle race and has been encouraged by the overwhelming support by the public.
The Minister and Premier will join the other 23 members of the I Play Fair team of riders that includes various public figures and celebrities including political activist Zackie Achmat, Bike Pure SA’s ambassador Yolande Pretorius, TV personality Vanessa Haywood, 8-time Iron Man champion Paula Newby-Fraser, Springbok rugby star Chester Williams, former Bafana Bafana football star Mark Fish, radio and TV presenter Owen Hannie and President of Triathlon SA Dr. Debby Alexander. Also on the team are well known racing fundraisers father Kevin Garwood and cerebal palsy sufferer son Nicholas.
The Institute is encouraging all South African sportsmen and women, coaches and fans to take the ‘I Play Fair – Say NO! To Doping’ pledge by visiting www.drugfreesport.org.za the mobi-site: m.drugfreesport.org.za, on the Facebook Page (iplayfairZA) or via Twitter (@iplayfairZA)