Fans of the Absa Cape Epic may be familiar with the sea of bright yellow t-shirts belonging to learners of the Anna Foundation, one of the event’s official charities. Year after year, the non-profit organisation which has 16 after school centres serving over 700 school-going children in rural and farm areas, brings small groups of school-goers to the race villages to support their charity team riders and help raise awareness and funds for rural and farm education.
This year, in the face of a delayed Absa Cape Epic 2021 (postponed to October 2021) and following a cancelled event in 2020, the Anna Foundation has been proud to show its support and solidarity in a new way; by participating in the Virtual Cape Epic 2021 which took place in March on the online cycle training and racing platform Zwift.
This has been a year of many firsts. Not only was this virtual event the first mountain bike stage race to be hosted on Zwift. It was also the first chance for Anna Foundation learners to ride on a smart trainer (a tool used to mount a bicycle that offers resistance, but also has an added benefit of allowing cycling apps like Zwift to control the resistance). It additionally gave learners their first opportunity to take part in an international timed cycling event and ride alongside cyclists from all over the world.
Cyclists were selected from two Anna Foundation after school projects at Kanonkop and Neethlingshof Wine Estates, chosen according to their age, skill and fitness levels.
Since becoming a partner of the Absa Cape Epic in 2015, cycling has become an important part of Anna Foundation’s weekly sports programme, with learners receiving regular bike skills training at various public community pump tracks in the greater Stellenbosch area. The Absa Cape Epic plays a significant role in raising funds to cover the Foundation’s annual operations budget.