Pre-schooler raises funds for Maties campaign to support student athletes

Michael Allcock

Michael Allcock, 5, is in the home straight of walking 50km in support of Stellenbosch University’s #Train4Fees campaign.

In fact, the campaign’s youngest fundraiser might even add a few kilometres to his goal, now that the campaign’s end date has been extended to the end of August.

Launched on June 1 by Maties Sport and the Development and Alumni Relations Division (DAR), the campaign aims to help student athletes who have lost financial backing due to the impact of Covid-19.

To date, R837 512 has been raised, and Michael has reached 75% of his R5 000 target.

According to his mom, Candice Egan, the pre-schooler’s age played a role in the decision to set targets of 50km and R5000.

Ms Egan, who works in the Development and Alumni Relations Division, describes Michael as a very curious, very energetic boy who is interested in what goes on around him.

When he heard her discussing the #Train4Fees campaign, he decided that he “also wanted to play”.

“I thought it might be a good way of getting rid of some excess energy, and all for a good cause,” says Ms Egan.

Michael wears a fitness tracker for their walks through their neighbourhood as he likes to take different routes.

“That way we know how far he has gone – usually between 1.5km and 2.5km per walk,” says his mom.

Although he doesn’t completely grasp the #Train4Fees concept, Michael – who attends Barkly House Pre-Primary School in Kenilworth when there isn’t a pandemic – has a vague understanding that what he does will help “big kids go to school”.

Ms Egan would like her children to learn the importance of sharing and develop empathy for people who are less fortunate.

As they grow older, they will hopefully realise that anyone can make a difference by doing the little that they can, she adds.

With the extended end date, the campaign now has a new fundraising target of
R2 million.

“We currently have over 300 student athletes who have applied for financial assistance and we would ideally want to help all of them,” says Hans Scriba, fundraising manager.

The public can sponsor any of the fundraisers on the Maties GivenGain platform in their chosen sport – rugby, soccer, cricket, netball and hockey – or support other sporting codes on the Maties Sport Page.

They can also sign up to become a fundraiser for #Train4Fees, by either running, cycling, skateboarding or power walking whatever fitness training they enjoy.

For more information on how to support this initiative, visit Michael’s GivenGain page here.