Medical students to cycle 902km to help fill student funding gaps

The Hippocampus team, riding to help their fellow students, pictured from left, are Wonderboy Nkosi, Luke Titus, Breda Reed, Mias Marais and Christoff Greyling.

A team of Stellenbosch University (SU) medical students have embarked on a 902km cycle tour from Vioolsdrift at the Namibian border to Cape Agulhas, the most Southern tip of Africa on Saturday December 1.

Tuesday November 27 marked 100 days of the Stellenbosch University’s #Move4Food campaign at SU – a student inspired initiative that aims to create food banks on the Stellenbosch and Tygerberg campuses to ensure that for the next three years, no Matie student will have to bear the indignity of going hungry.

“Our aim, to raise R10 million to build sustainable food banks at Stellenbosch University, is still paramount to our centennial drive,” says Karen Bruns senior director: development and alumni relations. “Although we have not reached our target yet, we received overwhelming support on various levels. For this reason we have decided to extend the campaign until April 19 next year, in order to allow students, alumni and friends of the University further opportunity to pour their energy into reaching the target.”

Breda Reed, a Namibian national and third year medical student at Tygerberg, is pioneering the cycle tour initiative with a group of four fellow students. “We want to help our friends become doctors. We don’t think it’s fair that some students drop out because they don’t have access to basic necessities.”

The group aims to raise R100 000, primarily appealing to health care professionals, to help set up a fund that will be dedicated to ensuring that fellow medical students are not financially excluded.

Professor Wim de Villiers, rector and vice chancellor, who has a medical professional background, fully endorses the initiative and will ride with the group from Stellenbosch to Franschhoek. Professor De Villiers completed the Cape Argus Pick * Pay Cycle Tour earlier this year to raise funds for bursaries.

“It is so heartening to see the passion and enthusiasm of our staff, students and alumni to drive student success at SU. The passion of these young men to do something to address the pertinent issue of student funding gaps is inspiring,” says Professor De Villiers.

The group consists of Breda Reed (Windhoek), Mias Marais (Ceres), Luke Titus (Worcester), and Christoff Greyling (Durbanville) – all students in medicine and Wonderboy Nkosi (Nelspruit) a student in dietetics.

The group’s riding itinerary is:

Saturday December 1: Vioolsdrift to Springbok, 120km, leaving at 4am, ETA 11.30am

Sunday December 2: Springbok to Garries, 118km, leaving at 4am, ETA 11.30am

Monday December 3: Garries to Vanrynsdorp, 148km, leaving at 3am, ETA 11.45am 

Tuesday December 4: Vanrynsdorp to Citrusdal, 133km, leaving at 3am, ETA 11am 

Wednesday December 5: Citrusdal to Malmesbury, 112km leaving at 4am, ETA 10.30am 

Thursday December 6: Malmesbury to Tygerberg Campus, 63km, leaving at 4am, ETA ETA 8am

Friday December 7: Tygerberg Campus to Caledon via Stellenbosch and Franschhoek,133km, leaving at 4am, ETA Stellenbosch, 6am, ETA Franschhoek, 8am, ETA Caledon noon 

Saturday December 8: Caledon to Cape Agulhas, 110km, leaving at 4am, ETA 10.30am

Visit https://goo.gl/CF3DTH to contribute to the Hippocampus Fund.

Follow their trip by liking The Hippocampus Facebook page.

For more information, contact Karen Bruns at 021 808 4895 or kbruns@sun.ac.za or Breda Reed at 076 938 9038 or 20142412@sun.ac.za