On the 26th September the off-road adventure kicks off from Carnival City, destination Durban. This first part of the event will end at Cane Cutters in Ballito on 29 September. The return ride starts on Thursday 3rd October from Durban and ends at Carnival City on Sunday the 6th. Approximately 600 riders, some on quad bikes, some on motorbikes, including quadriplegic riders on adapted quads, face around 250kms a day, an arduous challenge for all.
The Quads 4 Quads event was started ten years ago by a small off-road adventure business called Family Adventures, run by Glenn Foley and Corinne Andrews, who chose QASA (QuadPara Association of South Africa) as the beneficiary of the fundraising ride, which is the main fundraiser for QASA. Ari Seirlis, the CEO of QASA, will be participating again for the 8th time in this year’s event. Phil Case, a well-known quadriplegic and financial director of Dial a Nerd, will be riding his adapted quad bike for the fifth time in a team with successful bike rider Alfie Cox, who has three podiums and eight stage wins in the Dakar. Both Ari and Phil will be attempting both ways.
For the last ten years, QASA has benefitted immensely from the funds raised by Quads4Quads, particularly their computer digital training centre, funded entirely by the proceeds of the event. There are two training centres, one in Durbanville and one in Pinetown, which offer entry level computer training at no cost for persons with disabilities. Skills are offered on how to survive a job interview, telephone etiquette, typing and the creation CVs, all of which are necessary for work opportunities.
The Driving Ambitions programme, also a beneficiary, aims to instruct people with disabilities to pass their driver’s license and become independent. QASA has identified the need to provide a service to develop the capacity of people with mobility impairment to drive, as well as those that would need to use adaptations on vehicles. Achieving a driver’s license is a life-changing accomplishment that comes with the gift of independence, in addition to the employment opportunities that can arise, thereby empowering many individuals who are disabled.
QASA also employs quadriplegics and paraplegics in the national road safety programme to encourage South Africans to use their seatbelts, using the slogan: BUCKLE UP – WE DONT WANT NEW MEMBERS.
Ten years of gruelling riding through tough terrain, enduring some difficult weather conditions have improved the lives of quadriplegics and paraplegics in South Africa. The riders taking part, whether able or disabled, are the true champions of this cause.
“It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end.” ~Ursula K. LeGuin
QASA is responsible for setting up skills development programme, employment projects and independent living opportunities to allow quadriplegics and paraplegics to integrate into mainstream society with equal rights. Members of the public are encouraged to make their donations to further enhance QASA’s efforts.
Ari Seirlis, National Director
QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA)
Tel: 031 7670352/48 Fax: 031 7670584 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prepared by publicists:theresagibbonpr.co.za & Paola Chellew on behalf of QASA.
Image courtesy of 4vector.com.