Imagine trading proper cycling gear for medical scrubs and riding 109 km for charity…
That was the sacrifice of 17 novice and more experienced cyclists from the University of Cape Townʼs (UCT) Surgical Society (SurgSoc) who saddled up for an important cause and braved Sunday’s annual Cape Town Cycle Tour dressed in unconventional cycling attire – medical scrubs – in aid of Operation Smile South Africa (OSSA).
The healthcare organisation is a member of a global non-profit medical charity that provides free surgery to both adults and children living with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities.
Sundayʼs cycle all went off without a hitch, and thanks to the sterling efforts of participating medical and non-medical students at UCT, the group’s efforts raised R48 000 for OSSA. The organisation operates in South Africa, as well as in several other countries on the continent.
“It really was an incredible experience. Though it was quite hot at the start, and during the ride, it started raining and we got soaking wet. We had such great support from spectators. It encouraged us to remember the reason we were riding – for a truly wonderful cause,” said SurgSoc’s head of social events and outreach, Alana Williams.
According to Williams, the amount raised on the day was a mere R2 000 below their R50 000 target. Reaching the substantial total means that OSSA will be able to carry out 10 much-needed surgeries.
She said the funds would go a “long way” towards providing these essential surgeries and making a difference in the lives of those living with facial deformities.
“The team is very dynamic and we all feel strongly about using our skills, interests and hobbies to make a positive impact on the future of healthcare.”
Williams described the second annual scrub ride as a “great success”. She explained that the event aims to unite students with a passion for outreach programmes on a quest to make a difference in the lives of others who are less fortunate.
“Many of us (including myself) completed our first cycle tour this year and it was an amazing experience to learn from other more experienced [cyclists],” she said.
“The team is very dynamic and we all feel strongly about using our skills, interests and hobbies to make a positive impact on the future of healthcare in our country.”
Visit GivenGain to make a donation. The link will remain open until the end of March.
For more information on the scrub team, follow them on Instagram @uctscrubteam and Facebook @uctscrubrun.
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