Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka was founded in 2007. It has grown from a regional team to become Africa’s first UCI registered WorldTour team, with bases in South Africa and Italy. The team gives African riders the opportunity to progress to the world stage of cycling and at the same time races to raise funds for Qhubeka to mobilise people with bicycles in Africa.
The word “Qhubeka” is an Nguni word that means “to progress”, “to move forward” or to “carry on”. Qhubeka is part of a global non-profit organisation dedicated to advancing education, health and economic opportunities by providing simple, sustainable transportation through the Power of Bicycles®.
This year, during the Tour de France, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will be riding to raise funds for people like Olwethu.
Olwethu is 18 years old and lives in the Kayamandi informal settlement in South Africa’s Western Cape province. Before she had a bicycle, Olwethu had to walk about 3km per day between getting to and from school and collecting water for the household (one of her daily chores). Olwethu earned her bike from Qhubeka by achieving excellent marks in school despite trying obstacles that stand in her way.
Olwethu dreams of studying medicine, and now that she is able to get to school faster, more safely and more regularly, her dream is one step closer. After receiving her bicycle, she rode through the streets of Kayamandi near her home, crowds of children running behind, ringing the bike bell, and asking for rides themselves. Olwethu had just learned to ride her bike, but already she was beaming as she rode, talking about all of the places this bike will carry her.
She is also enjoying the freedom that cycling gives her, and is happy to share the bike with her siblings. The whole family is now enjoying increased mobility, thanks to one bicycle.
The need for bicycles in communities like Olwethu’s is great and you can help Team Dimension Data and Qhubeka to change more lives by making a donation to BicyclesChangeLives or taking part in the Qhubeka 5,000.
The Qhubeka 5,000 is an international 48-hour interactive fundraising initiative by Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka. The team aims to get fans around the world to take part in this campaign during the Tour de France as part of its goal of funding 5,000 bicycles for greater access to education, healthcare and economic opportunity for people in Africa.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will ride Stage 13 and 14 of the Tour de France as part of the Qhubeka 5,000. The team is inviting fans to join them in opening up the world with wheels for schoolchildren and entrepreneurs by choosing one of four routes, from 6km to 208km distance (or part of it), wherever they are.
Mark Cavendish, 29-time stage winner at the Tour de France and sprinter for Team Dimension Data encourages fans to get involved. “The Qhubeka 5,000 challenge is an incredible campaign to encourage any cycling fans to get involved and help make a difference by raising money for a brilliant cause,” he says. “Bicycles are changing lives for people in Africa. Help us to empower them.”
“The Tour the France is certainly one of the most challenging races in the world,” says Daniel Teklehaimanot, the first African to wear the King of the Mountain jersey at the Tour de France last year. “But it’s worth putting in all the effort, knowing that we do not only ride for ourselves, but also for the people in Africa who receive help through the campaign. The Qhubeka 5,000 is a great way to get involved and to make an impact.”
To coincide with the Tour de France, people can register to ride on 15 and 16 July, be it with friends on the road, in a spinning class or on an indoor trainer. The fee to participate is $10 (around R155), with all funds raised going towards funding 5,000 bicycles this year.
The Qhubeka 5,000 has four distances that you can choose from to ride wherever you are:
- Ride Lebo’s 6km route to school
- Ride Duncan’s 13km route to work
- Take on the team with the 37km stage 13 ITT Tour de France ride
- Take on the team with the 208km stage 14 Tour de France route
Alternatively, you can choose to ride your own distance.
The team is inviting participation from individuals, cycling clubs and corporations. Simply go to Qhubeka5000.org and pay your registration fee of $10 to participate. You will receive a digital race pack and be entered into a draw to win a once-in-lifetime opportunity to be part of Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka’s team training camp in Cape Town, South Africa in November 2016, for you and a partner.
You can also meet Team Dimension Data at the Tour of Britain this year. Enter our latest competition now.
Images: Stiehl Photography