It’s that time of the year again and the City of George is gearing up to host the Outeniqua Wheelchair Challenge (OCC) for the thirteenth year with more than a thousand wheelchair athletes including Ernst Van Dyk, Krige Schabort and Matthys Roets expected to participate this year. This prestigious event will take place on the 21st February and has been described as a pioneering event for previously disabled young athletes and is now endorsed by both the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SACOC) and Disability Sports South Africa (DISSA).
The Executive Mayor of George, Alderman Charles Standers has always strongly supported the OCC and said that partnerships with citizens, civil society, business and other institutions allows the George Municipality to fulfil our vision and strategic objectives for the City of George. “We are indeed a city for all who live in it- study in it- do business in it- invest in it- play sport in it- visit it “, he said.
The OCC is not only a race for world class athletes but also provides the opportunity for the ordinary person or child in a wheelchair to participate in a major sporting event that recognizes them as athletes and with dignity, no matter what their level of participation. It is an event that attracts local and international athletes travel to the City of George every year allowing them to enjoy the beauty of the surroundings and various attractions whilst participating in their sporting event.
George is a forward thinking city which believes in the rights and dignity of all and attempts at all times to be as inclusive as possible – the GO GEORGE public bus service is an example of such forward thinking with extensive research being done into providing a public transport service that will be universally accessible to all passengers.
George Municipality has acted as OCC host for the past 12 years, providing monetary and essential logistical support. The Municipal Traffic and Law Enforcement officials will provide essential support on the day and assist in maximising the safety of the route with roads closed to traffic. Over one hundred volunteers, which include many municipal employees, give freely of their time to assist on the route during the event. Our Civil Engineering department will provide in the roughly 1500 poles, delineators and sandbags used for the road closures.
Entry forms for the OCC have been distributed to all the clinics in the George Municipal area and entrants are welcome to enquire at their local clinic for entry forms.
The Committee still needs volunteers as marshals and pushers. If you would like to participate as a marshal along the route please call Jenny Bekker on 083 625 2494. Groups or individuals who would like to push participants in the 5Km fun event are welcome to call Alet van Tonder on 082 578 8050. Anyone who is able to lend a wheel chair to the visiting athletes for the fun event, please call Jonique on 044 802 2000 to make arrangements.