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As an avid sports person who hasn’t ever let his disability define him, Douglas Hendrikz will be taking on the aQuellé Tour Durban on his hand cycle in 2022 on Sunday, 11 September as he eyes a trip to the USA for the para-surfing World Championships at the end of the year.
Hendrikz has been involved in many different sports but since he had both lower limbs amputated following a motorcycle accident he’s not slowed down and continues to take part in as many sports as possible.
With the Tour Durban open to hand cyclists he’s hoping to use the event to grow awareness for the South African team that are raising funds for their trip to the USA for the para-surfing World Championships.
“A group of us surfers decided to enter the Tour to not only raise awareness, but potentially also raise funds for us to get to World Champs for Surfing in California in December,” he said, “The event also brings the added benefit of getting fitter and stronger in order to do better in our surfing.
Hendrikz has taken on all challenges put to him through sport and his hand cycling journey is one that he is looking forward to continuing at the Tour Durban.
“I’ve played wheelchair basketball at a provincial level; I’ve done adaptive rowing at a national level and have shifted into surfing in the past few years having just recently won my 3rd national title as SA Para-Surfing Champion in the waveski division.
“I was lent a hand cycle a few years back for a few months and absolutely loved it, but then had to return it to the lender eventually. As I couldn’t afford to get my own that was the end of hand cycling for a while, but through surfing I met Oliver Sinclair and he donated his old hand cycle to me and this has re-sparked my interest in it.
“It was given to me three weeks before the Amashova last year and so I ended up doing the 35km Shova on a 10-speed hand cycle with a 40 chain ring and high gear of 36 – needless to say it was a challenge, but I did it!
“I’ve now since done a few upgrades and am busy with a few more in prep for the Tour Durban and also the Shova in October,” he added excitedly.
For the 43 year-old from Forest Hills in Kloof, hand cycling isn’t the end of the road and he wants to take his next challenge off road.
“The next discipline on the cards is adaptive MTB riding. I have ordered a full suspension MTB hand cycle that is going to be ready by the end of this year and then the plan is to combine on road racing with off road MTB and hitting the trails and challenges out there!”