Quads 4 Quads celebrates ten years Bikers the world over know why a dog sticks his head out of a car window.... the sheer exhilaration of the ride is food for the soul. The camaraderie of the people taking part in the Quads 4 Quads event have ensured that it will be bigger and better this year, marking its tenth anniversary.
On 26 September the off-road adventure kicks off from Carnival City towards their destination: Durban. This first part of the event will end at Cane Cutters in Ballito on 29 September. The return ride starts on Thursday 3 October from Durban and ends at Carnival City on Sunday 6 October. Approximately 600 riders, some on motorbikes, some on quad bikes, and many quadriplegic riders on adapted quad bikes, face around 250kms a day. It is 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. They chose QASA (QuadPara Association of South Africa) as the beneficiary of the fundraising event, this ride has become the main fundraiser for QASA. Ari Seirlis, QASA CEO, will be participating for the 8th time in this year’s event. Phil Case, the 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 Rally. Both Ari and Phil will be attempting to compete in both routes.
For the past ten years, QASA has benefitted immensely from the funds raised by Quads4Quads. Their digital training centres are funded entirely by the proceeds of the event. There are two digital 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 of CVs, all of which are necessary for improving work opportunities.
The Driving Ambitions programme is also a beneficiary of Quad4Quads, aims to instruct people with disabilities to pass their driver’s license and become more independent. QASA has identified the need to develop the capacity of people with mobility impairments to learn to drive, as well as providing a service to those who would need to use adaptations on vehicles. Passing your driver’s license is a life-changing accomplishment that brings increased independence, and can improve an individual’s employment opportunities by empowering many individuals who are disabled.
QASA also uses their funds to employ quadriplegics and paraplegics in the National Road Safety Programme which encourages South Africans to use their seatbelts, using the slogan: BUCKLE UP – WE DON’T 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 who take 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
Members attend workshop in Durban A few members of the QASA board participated in a constitution workshop on the 25 May at the QASA head office in Durban to draft necessary changes to the constitution in preparation for the annual general meeting in September.
After the meeting, everybody enjoyed an evening at the Amasondo Rugby Suite at Kings Park to see the Bulls sneak past the Sharks and win by two points.
The gift of mobility The Bidvest Unity Walk mobilises dozens of quadriplegics and paraplegics through their donation of wheelchairs and assistive devices.
QASA is the beneficiary again for this year’s event. Pictured here is Lindo from Umlazi receiving his new wheelchair.
SADA - moving forward collectively
The South African Disability Alliance (SADA) has recently concluded its strategic plan to ensure coercive and collective representation of people with disabilities in all sectors. After the withdrawal of Disabled People South Africa (DPSA) from the alliance, SADA took the opportunity to embrace trust and purpose for the service providers in the disability sector.
The alliance has no political affiliations and this advantage allows it the autonomy to speak boldly and serve widely. SADA invites national disability agencies that are represented in the provinces to join them to ensure growth and a broad representation of people with disabilities. In addition, SADA is pleased to be a new beneficiary of the Casual Day campaign as it will add to the sustainability of the organisation. Its inclusion in Casual Day is a reflection of the great representation of disability in this fundraising campaign. SADA serves as a platform for discussion, joint planning, collaboration and consensus-seeking amongst key role players within the disability sector. SADA promotes collaboration between role players in the disability sector and between the disability sector and other role players in society, including relevant organs of state in joint initiatives, campaigns, programs and projects. Some of SADA’s objectives include: to provide a platform for consensus-seeking and reaching common positions on issues relating to key policies regarding disability; to develop approaches to public communication on disability issues; to deliver key messages and the shaping of public perceptions of disability and of disabled people; to appropriate services and methods of service delivery to disabled people based on norms and standards acceptable to disabled people.
The organisation also aims to help with development of common positions on disability issues and, where possible, to speak with one voice as the disability sector on key national disability issues. SADA aims to develop joint strategies and inclusive positions on cross-cutting issues that affect disabled people; promoting the involvement of disabled people in national issues; and the provision of leadership for disabled people in Souuth African disability issues, SADA intends to educate the public and raise awareness, as well as support, monitor and evaluate the implementation of policy, legislation and other legal instruments on disability nationally and internationally. SADA is designed to collectively engage with the National Disability Machinery and other disability forums in order to promote collaboration between government and civil society on issues of disability.