2018 Cycle Charity Tour - Meet Yusuf Morris
On Thursday, 1 March 2018, 25 cyclists will commence a grueling 1,749-kilometre ride from Sun International’s Sun City resort in South Africa’s North West Province to The Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town to raise awareness and funds for various charities.
The cyclists, part of the 16th Annual _Sun City to Table Bay Charity Cycle Tour, _will ride about 216 kilometres a day to cover the full distance to Cape Town in a week. Along the way the cyclists will stop in Klerksdorp, Bloemhof, Kimberley, De Aar, Beaufort West, Laingsburg and Worcester. The cyclists will not only donate money and products to charity organizations en route to Cape Town, but will also support the World Bicycle Relief Organisation and promote the sport of cycling by donating bicycles to previously disadvantaged individuals.
We caught up with Yusuf Morris, who will be taking on the 2018 tour and needs YOUR help to make tour a success!
Who are you and why did you get into cycling?
I as born in the “town of people”, Klerksdorp in the North West Province. I am married, and have 2 daughters aged 14 and 9 years old. I currently work for Eskom as a Geographic Information Technologist in the Land Development Department. My religion is Islam and I am a devout Muslim. I started cycling way back in high school in the 1990’s. I did mostly local endurance events arranged within the local coloured/indian community as at the time due to my ethnicity, we were very limited from taking part in big provincial/national events and races due to the then restrictions which are thankfully a thing of the past.
After completing your studies what made you go back to cycling?
In 2012 I went back to cycling after taking a break to focus on my studies and building a career. I quickly progressed and started racing competitively, and now race all the major races in the country including the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge.
The Charity Cycle Tour is not just an endurance race but a tor for good - what do you love most about it?
Because I am an avid supporter of the Tour De France, it boggled my mind that nowhere in South Africa do we have a similar event in terms of the distance covered daily on a bicycle (+200kms). I then searched for something similar and I came across the Charity Cycle Tour and thought that it is a fantastic challenge. This taking into account that South Africa does not offer a week long cycling event or tour as found overseas. The tour also caught my eye as it raises money for various charities and gives back to the community at large.
I entered my first Charity Cycling Tour in 2015 and successfully completed the tour 3 times over now. 2018 will be my fourth tour. I enjoy the challenge from a cycling perspective itself but most importantly the joy of providing support and relief to the Charities is what is forever etched in my memory and draws me back to this 5 star tour every time.
What is the best part of the tour?
Well certainly all the tear jerking moments when we hand over cheques/bicycles to the various charities. There is just nothing in the world that can compare to the sincere feeling of gratitude and appreciation we get from the recipients. We work throughout the year to obtain donors and sponsors and when you see it all come together in a hand over ceremony, the sense of accomplishment is beyond measure.
Do you have a particular memory of a charity hand over, or someone you’ve met who has left an impression on you, that makes you want to do it again each year?
Bringing relief to the poor and needy is something I want to do every single day and this tour gives me the opportunity to make a difference…so for as long as I physically can I will return every year. Then also, the challenge in cycling this kind of distance in 8 days is also a big draw card for me…it is physically very, very daunting and there is just no other tour of this nature in South Africa even amongst the pro racing circuit. Not even the Tour De France cyclists cover this distance within a week.
What would you like people to know about the cause or about the tour?
Well I want people to know that you can make a massive difference through the sport of cycling. Come and take on a 5 star cycling experience with this tour, uplift your fellow South Africans, challenge yourself physically and mentally and in doing so you will be part of a breed of potent nation builders. If you love South Africa and you love cycling, then you gotta place this tour on your bucket list.
To sponsor a rider visit www.charitycycletour.co.za or follow on Facebook: Sun City to Table Bay Charity Cycle Tour.