The 16th Outeniqua Wheelchair Challenge (OCC) for disabled athletes, organised by the Disabled Road Race Foundation (DRRF), takes place on Sunday 18 February. Activities take place at the Race Village next to Halfway Toyota in Courtenay Street near the Garden Route Mall.
RSG radio personality Martelize Brink, who will be participating for the second time, is one of the celebrities at this year’s OCC.
“I am not in it for the competition, but it is a wonderful experience and I enjoy the exercise,” said Brink. “I enjoy challenging myself.”
She believes it is important to exercise regularly and to be fit. “I have to exercise to keep my weight down. It is also important for blood circulation, which is often a problem experienced by people in wheelchairs.”
She follows her own home exercise routine with weights and resistance bands. “I used to exercise at a gym before, but many of the facilities and equipment are not accessible to a disabled person in a wheelchair.”
Not only gyms are inaccessible. “Very few restaurants in Camps Bay are accessible to wheelchairs. For some businesses it is important to make sure their buildings are accessible, but others just don’t care. They are required by law to be accessible, but often the owner or contractor pay the fine instead of ensuring the building is accessible.”
Brink will not only be participating, but will also record interviews with other participants for the radio station.
“It is important to grow awareness. Besides world class athletes, such as Ernst van Dyk, who will be participating, ordinary people in wheelchairs also make use of the one opportunity a year to take part in an organised sporting event.”
According to Alewijn Dippenaar, chairperson of DRRF, members of the public are needed to push wheelchairs in the 5 km event. Interesting persons must report to the Race Village at 10:30 on Sunday.
The 10 km race starts at 07:00 at the Race Village, followed by the half marathon (21,1 km) and marathon (42.2 km) at 08:00, and the 5 km fun event at 11:00.
The public is invited to the official opening at the Race Village at 18:00 on Saturday 17 February, as well as to the Awards Ceremony between 12:00 and 13:00 on Sunday.
For more information, contact Alewijn Dippenaar at 082 457 5675 or firstname.lastname@example.org