On 6 September, Casual Day, QASA received a surprise visit from Nicola. A cute little girl walked into the QASA boardroom with R1000 that she raised for QUADS 4 QUADS by making and selling bags. She did this every day after school for four months, selling the bags for R20 each.

Nicola has just got her first quad bike and she is hoping to take part in the event next year. Her uncle is a person with a disability and he will be participating in Quads 4 Quads 2013. He inspired her to do something for people who are not as fortunate as her. This is what the event is known for – people who go the extra mile to do something extraordinary.

Thank you Nicola for your kind donation, you bowled us over.

Off road adventure empowers Quadriplegics and Paraplegics

Quads 4 Quads was launched ten years ago and is the biggest off road ride of its kind in the world. This off road adventure, organised by Family Adventures, kicked off on 26 September when about 500 quad bikes and two wheeled motorbikes left Johannesburg from Carnival City in Brakpan. The 1000km trip to Ballito took four days, through some of the most challenging terrain and rural areas.

In the last nine years the event has raised more than R5 million for QASA and this has allowed the association to develop and deliver projects and services to empower the lives of Quadriplegics and Paraplegics.

A driver training programme, free computer training for skills development, wheelchairs and assistive devices, education bursaries and sports bursaries are some of the immediate projects that are funded from the funds raised from Quads 4 Quads.
QASA also provides strong lobby and advocacy activities to ensure the human rights and dignity for people with disabilities. The association is also responsible for developing prevention of spinal cord injury strategies, especially in road safety. What is so unique about this amazing journey is that at least a dozen Quadriplegics and Paraplegics also participate on their adapted off-road motorbikes.

The CEO of QASA, Ari Seirlis, a high level quadriplegic, participated for the eight time on his adapted Polaris side x side motorbike. It is a huge challenge for someone with such a severe disability, but achievable, as the event is well supported with backup, medical and breakdown facilities, community encouragement and rider camaraderie. Family Adventures, owned by Corinne Andrews and Glenn Foley (also of Dirt & Trail magazine), chose QASA to be the beneficiary of this event, with the slogan saying it all “Quad bike riders for quadriplegics”. Quads 4 Quads has grown and evolved in the last 10 years, to include two wheeled off road motorbikes, adventure motorbikes, adapted buggies and almost anything off-road that was able to go the distance over mountains, through rivers and rocky passes, through railway tunnels and sweeping dust roads.

The same event is run on a return leg the next week from Ballito to Johannesburg finishing at Carnival city on Sunday 6 October where a cheque of more than R1 million will be handed over to QASA. When all is done and dusted, 500 off-road motorcyclists would have covered 2000km of some of the roughest terrain in the country. The event doesn’t only improve the lives and develop the capacity of Quadriplegics and Paraplegics who have very limited mobility, but the rural communities on the trip have also received soccer balls, stationary kits, blankets and wheelchairs.

Clayton House golf day raises money for QASAClayton House Sub Acute Rehabilitation Centre is a quality step down and rehabilitation centre for people with severe disabilities and spinal cord injuries. Clayton House hosted its second annual fundraiser on 14 August and its golf day at Bryanston Country Club managed to raise R100 000 for QASA.

These funds are used to deliver projects, products and services to the members of QASA,” said Ari Seirlis CEO of QASA.

“Clayton House is proudly associated with QASA and acknowledges the work that they do and acting as the mouthpiece of disabled people throughout South Africa,” said Clayton House MD Riaan du Preez.

Eugene Watson, CEO of the Road Accident Fund (RAF), was the guest speaker at the function later that evening.

He once again highlighted the cooperation and collaboration between QASA and the RAF and informed everyone of its joint campaign: “ Buckle up, we don’t need new members.” Both QASA and Clayton House were amazed by the generous outpouring of sponsorship and donations they received from all walks of life. Corporate South Africa, already affiliated with QASA, once again demonstrated their generosity of spirit by supporting and donating to the cause.Thousands walk for wheelchairs in Bidvest Unity Walk.

On Sunday 18 August Bidvest employees and their families united to walk 10kms in the Bidvest Unity Walk in four cities - Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban. Bidvest employees were responding to a call from CEO, Brian Joffe, to “walk for those who can’t”.

For every 75 staff members who participated, one wheelchair will be donated to the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA). The Bidvest Unity Walk has enabled QASA to mobilise those who are most in need of a wheelchair, and for this QASA is extremely grateful to Bidvest for their generous support.

Youngest student gets her license. Tayla Ann Turck, Driving Mobility’s youngest student, successfully passed her driver’s license on 17 August. She overcame many obstacles and the added pressure of being in matric. Tayla Ann did a lot of roadwork and really put in the extra effort. Her love and passion for helping others is a characteristic that motivated her and those around her to achieve her goal of getting her driver’s licence and gaining more independence. Well done!