As the dust settles on the 2021 aQuellé Tour Durban cycle races, the smiles on the riders faces are being mirrored by the charities and community organisations as well as the greater Durban economy that all benefitted for the successful staging of the event.
“It has been a remarkable journey the past twenty months, through a virtual race last year to finally getting in our race this past weekend,” said Richard Munn-Gavin of The Domino Foundation, the charity that owns the event and benefits from the proceeds of the race each year
“The feedback from the road race was very positive and I can vouch for that as someone who rode the event,” he added. “The new mountain bike race seems to have been well received as well.”
“A massive thank you from all of us at The Domino Foundation, who receive the benefit of the proceeds to continue our work,” he said.
The city was delighted to see a return of the iconic cycle event after it’s lockdown-enforced cancellation in 2020, as major sporting events are an important driver for the region’s tourism economy.
“The Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry NPC believes events such as the aQuellé Tour Durban event have the potential to create a multiplier effect through areas of employment, accommodation, restaurants and catering right through to entertainment and tourism with the potential of boosting our local economy, said DCCI CEO Palesa Phili.
“These sporting and recreational events bring the much-needed relief to business and assist towards rebuilding our economy and preserving livelihoods. Sporting events benefit the local economy with respect to employment, including casual jobs throughout the sporting activity in the city.
“While the country is still battling with the Covid-19 pandemic and the consequences of the unrest, we need to put our focus on the bigger picture of rebuilding our economy. As we head toward the busiest time of the year in our city, our focus should be on our tourism sector, which has been suffering since the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s lockdown restrictions.
“The aQuellé Tour Durban has provide a networking and hospitality opportunity contributing to the economic recovery of Durban,” added Phili.
Event director Alec Lenferna said that it had been a team effort and singled out the professionalism and commitment of the traffic officials that had managed the full road closure on the day, and willingly assisted where needed.
While The Domino Foundation benefitting the most from the proceeds of the event, a myriad of charities and communities organisations were involved as individuals and groups sought to raise awareness and funds for these charities through their participation.
The Cows raise substantial amounts every year for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Association of South Africa, and their tribute drive for Gray Braadvedt and Max du Plooy fuelled their efforts at the aQuellé Tour Durban this year.
The energetic pupils and parents from the Hillcrest Primary School excelled in their fundraiser for the Project Sanctuary dog and cat sterilisation programme at the MTB race on Saturday as many of the youngsters rode their debut MTB races in tricky, muddy conditions.
The SA Rugby Legends, led by Jeremy Thomson, Trevor Halstead and John Slade lent their profile to the event by riding in the 45km Charity Batch to throw their weight behind The Domino Foundation that already has a healthy relationship with The Cell C Sharks.