OCC 2020: Be inspired by the triumph of the human spirit

Garden Route, George (February 2020) In this modern, uncompromising world many believe that self-centredness has, sadly, almost become necessary just to survive.

The 18th Outeniqua Chair Challenge, taking place in George on 15 February 2020 offers an opportunity to turn this trend on its head.

More that 1000 disabled athletes will descend on George to celebrate what can be achieved in spite of severe limitations.

Join them in celebrating this occasion.

No-one chooses to be born with a disability and so many have had their dreams shattered by a cruel twist of fate.

Yet, none of them look for our sympathy.

Without exception, their stories are heart-warming.  Their victory over adversity is testimony to the resilience of the human spirit.

There is certainly a lot we can learn from these exceptional people.

A woman on the brink of an international modeling career, a promising rugby player yet to achieve his full potential or a little boy just learning to walk; the names and the places may differ, but the underlying stories are the same.

Be inspired by their stories.

As race director, Alewijn Dippenaar, puts it, “The event is about Ubuntu – making a difference in the lives of others.  Sponsors invest in people’s lives (persons with disabilities) and together we strive to restore the dignity of those wheelchair-bound person’s lives”.

Many of the race favourites who missed the 2019 race due to prior commitments, will once again be competing, giving locals the opportunity to see some of Africa’s finest para- & quad athletes in action right here in George.

Athletes like Ernst v Dyk, Pieter du Preez and Stuart McCreadie; radio personality, Martelize Brink as well as the promising young Zach Legward have all confirmed their participation.

The race will once again have an international flavour with athletes from Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Ghana.

The OCC is truly an occasion for George and the Garden Route to celebrate the spirit of Ubuntu as hundreds of locals freely give of their time to stage what is the biggest race of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

A total of 250 officials, marshals, traffic officers, and route layout crew and registration staff; 400 volunteers who give of their time to push chairs and assist with other tasks; the OCC organising committee consisting of over 50 members under the leadership of event director, Alewijn Dippenaar; and more than 15 service providers who supply portable toilets, tents, food, medals, sound, stage, and race timekeeping all make putting on the event possible.

In addition, various community organisations make invaluable contribution including the Lions, Rotary, QuadPara Association of the Western Cape (QAWC), Occupational Therapy Association of South Africa, Afrique Rehabilitation & Research Consultants NPC, South African National AIDS Council Trust, APD, the South African Society of Physiotherapy, and the George Business Chamber.

Entries are available on the OCC Website and registrations will be open on 14 February from 11 am to 6 pm at Carpe Diem School where after the Opening Ceremony, which is open to the public, will take place at 6 pm.

The organisers invite you to line the streets, cheer on the athletes and attend the race functions on Friday evening and Saturday midday.  See you there!

OCC 2020 PRIZE MONEY
CATEGORY (MALE & FEMALE) 1’ST 2’ND 3’RD
       
10 KM JUNIOR R1000 R800 R500
10 KM SENIOR R1500 R1000 R500
       
21 KM SENIOR R2000 R1500 R1000
       
42 KM SENIOR R10 000 R8 000 R7 000

The Outeniqua Chair Challenge attracts athletes from all nine provinces as well as from the rest of Africa and abroad.  Thousands of visitors descend on the Garden Route, not only having a significant economic impact (estimated to be in the region of R3 million) but also raising awareness of the needs of disabled persons.  As a result, the Garden Route has become a premier destination for the disabled. There is a need to assists athletes with costs related to accommodation and transport and acquiring chairs for participants competing in a wide range of racing chairs and handcycles. 

In conclusion, Dippenaar said, “The event is about Ubuntu – making a difference in the lives of others.  Sponsors invest in people’s lives (persons with disabilities) and together we strive to restore the dignity of those wheelchair-bound person’s lives”.

For more information contact Alewijn Dippenaar, 082 457 5675, dyndev@mweb.co.za

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