The journey begins for the 2014 edition of the 1965 Ride. Day 1 took the riders 140km from Heidelburg in Johannesburg through to Frankfort in the Orange Free State. With the wind behind their backs it was an enjoyable ride for the 25 cyclists taking part. All in the name of better education in the Queenstown district. Follow the journey on Twitter and Facebook!
Chevrolet South Africa Ute Force teamed up with Maria Botha from Ripples for Good to upgrade the girls hostel at the West Rand School for disabled children.
Have a look at this amazing video of Day 2 of the 1965Ride 2014. Although it was hard day that saw the 1965Ride cyclists deal with a lot wind, determination and teamwork pulled everyone through. The 1965Ride is an annual 850km, nine day cycle tour between Johannesburg and Queenstown. It is undertaken by a group of passionate amateur cyclists who believe in doing something constructive to secure the educational future of those who need it most.
The longest day in the saddle with over 140km completed. A chilly start in Ficksburg the riders meandered through the beautiful countryside to Ficksburg in the Orange Free State. All for better education in the Queenstown district.
A beautiful South African sunshine day in the saddle. 10 Life Hospital cyclists from Bloemfontein joined the 1965 Riders to show their support for a worthwhile cause.
The start of the second half of the tour. After the tough Ladybrand Hill it was smooth riding with improved road conditions all the way to Wepener. Amazing country side and a good short day in the saddleRead more
A short recovery ride through the Orange Free State to Zastron. Spirits are high amongst the cyclists. The journey is almost over for a worthwhile cause of creating a better future for education in the Queenstown district.
Finally in the Eastern Cape. Crossing the Orange River towards our final destination our cyclists averaged 25km/h. Tomorrow is the final push to Penhoek Pass keep on watching and share video far and wide.
The final push to Queenstown. Along hard day in the saddle up to Penhoek Pass at 1844m then a short fast downhill ride to our respective bed and breakfast spots before the final day.Read more
We made it. 850km from Jozi to Queenstown cycling for education. Watch for the amazing homecoming by 6 schools as the cyclists enter the stadium.Read more
Krugersdorp – On the morning of Thursday March 27th a trail of Chevrolet Ute Force bakkies – loaded with equipment, arrived in the small community of Wentworth Park in Krugersdorp. The teams focus? To upgrade the girl’s dormitory, the internal and external common areas as well as the outside area, adding a splash of colour to the West Rand School for Cerebral Palsied Children.
In association with Ripples for Good, an organisation that focusses on sustainable and environmentally friendly projects in disadvantaged communities, forty volunteers from Builders Warehouse, Chevrolet Ute Force and the local community showed their support on the day by getting their hands, feet and clothing dirty while they provided a much needed facelift to the tired school.
The school is home to 270 children, many with severe cerebral palsy. Children’s environment is as important to their development as having the correct learning material; this becomes of greater importance at special needs schools. Cerebral palsied children need a safe environment that offers tranquility but also stimulation in particular circumstances. The West Rand School provides stability – something many don’t have at home.
This particular area of the West Rand has been plagued by issues as a result of poverty. Parents are not always able to provide their children the care they need; it is through these humble beginnings that a child’s perception of their world begins. Schools often become their sanctuary, for this reason it is important to create a welcoming environment where children want to come and learn. With over one hundred community upliftment projects completed in 2013, through the collaboration of Ripples for Good and the Chevrolet Ute Force initiative, 2014 will be the team’s biggest year yet.
“Making a meaningful and lasting difference in the lives of disadvantaged South Africans need not be complicated or involve an endless resource of funds. Rather it is about touching individual lives through genuine and caring engagements,” said Ripples for Good founder, Maria Botha.
This vision of spreading hope, dignity and joy is shared by Ripples for Good partner, Chevrolet Ute Force. Botha points out that the cycle of change begins by a single act of goodwill, and that each and every South African has the power to ignite change in communities across the country.
“What an honour to be associated with Maria and the Ripples for Good project,” commented Chevrolet Brand Manager, Tim Hendon. “The Ute Force initiative was developed to support other initiatives and champions-of-good through meaningful and sustainable partnerships.”
Hendon continued by saying that the partnership with Ripples for Good is well into its second year. The intention of Chevrolet is to continue supporting the invaluable work being done through the partnership. He points out that it is not only about the number of lives positively impacted, but about the quality of engagement with communities, children, parents and teachers that matter to the Ute Force initiative.
Speaking at the school, Hendon concluded by saying that each South African citizen and business has an obligation to making a difference in their community. He reiterated that the cycle of change starts with a single gesture, but that it can only be sustained through funding and support from corporate South Africa.
In way of Chevrolet’s commitment to inspiring the nation to get involved, mini documentaries will continue to be produced by Louis Bolton of BoltonInc for each Ute Force project and uploaded to YouTube. Bridgette Bolton – Ute Force Project Manager pointed out that sharing these experiences is all about paying tribute to the amazing communities, and their goodwill champions, that have welcomed the dedicated team.
Show your support by visiting the Ute Force website where you can like the official Facebook page in order to receive updates and follow the team on Twitter, @chevroletsa using the #UTEForce hashtag to spread the word.
The Chevrolet and Dreamfields Project’s ‘Indestructible Spirit’ project in Vosloorus have been featured in this awesome documentary shot by Louis Bolton of BoltonInc. Speaking about the documentary, Bridgette Bolton, Ute Force project manager stated: “We are committed to creating a mini-documentary of each and every Chevrolet Ute Force, Dreamfields, One World Futbol project. This means that we can share our amazing experiences with the world, and inspire others to get involved.”
View the galleryRead more
John Makeke, a local teacher at Bopang-Kgotso Primary School in Vosloorus, witnesses first-hand the impact of poverty on a child’s spirit. Makeke and teachers just like him across Vosloorus are working together with Dreamfields and the Chevrolet Ute Force to bring joy and hope to the lives of primary school children through the game of soccer. Saturday 22nd February signalled the beginning of a powerful long-term commitment between the community, Dreamfields and the Chevrolet Ute Force initiative. Vosloorus was selected because of the incredible demand on the schools within the community, due to the fact that it is one of the poorest areas in the province – with the children often paying the highest price, their dreams.
Vosloorus has a total population of approximately 163,000 residents, the majority of residents living below the breadline, unemployed and in unsafe living conditions. Children walk long distances to get to and from school, many not being able to afford taxi fares. Somehow their spirit of hope lives on and they continue to attend school regularly, participate in sport and help their families with day-to-day chores. Makeke points out that since the introduction of the Dreamfields project into the community in 2013, children involved have shown a heightened passion for the game and a stronger sense of ‘community’. “Often we have to help children get back home after school as they have missed the only transport they have access too, because they wanted to play soccer with their friends after their lessons,” added the teacher and chairman for sport at Bopang-Kgotso Primary School.
Ten local primary schools, currently within a soccer league developed by Dreamfields, will be supported by the partnership and receive DreamBags that include soccer equipment and kit to help extend the DreamLeague into its second year. A dedicated all-girls soccer league will also form part of the 2014 project, with four girl’s teams starting the season in March. The inclusion of Isipho Sethu LSEN School, a special needs institution in Vosloorus, taking care of 800 pupils, is an achievement only made possible through the dedication of both the Dreamfields and Chevrolet Ute Force teams.
Highly involved in sport already, the school has managed to start breaking down stereotypes in the local community about intellectually impaired learners. It is clear that through soccer these young South African’s have found their true calling, and through the project launched on 22nd February, children will receive DreamBags to help extend this important platform. Dreamfields founder John Perlman said: “Our vision is to create and grow primary school football in a way that allows children to play week in and week out, the first step towards building a sustainable love of sport. If we can reach out to this age group, right now, and add joy and purpose to their lives, we have a great chance of giving them the kind of positive dreams that will keep them away from drugs, crime and violence later on.”
Chevrolet will further extend the footprint of their global partnership with, One World Futbol, by donating the Virtually Indestructible futbol, the ball that never needs a pump and never goes flat, even if its been punctured multiple times, allowing children to play almost anywhere. Tim Hendon, Chevrolet Brand Manager added that Vosloorus is the fourth community impacted so far by the Dreamfields and Chevrolet Ute Force partnership with three additional projects identified for rollout in 2014.
“The Chevrolet Ute Force initiative is focused on supporting the youth. We partner with organisations to extend our reach into communities across the country,” he concluded. The entire day will feature as part of a documentary shot by BoltonInc and will be uploaded to YouTube for viewing. Bridgette Bolton, Ute Force project manager added that: “We are committed to creating a mini-documentary of each and every Chevrolet Ute Force, Dreamfields, One World Futbol project. This means that we can share our amazing experiences with the world, and inspire others to get involved.”
The UTE Force got tails wagging at the Irwin Animal Rescue Centre after giving the animal shelter a massive makeover on Tuesday 28 January. For almost 30 years the centre has been the saviour of countless animals who would otherwise lead a life of abject misery and abuse. Respected photographer, Mike Schmucker, joined the UTE Force on the day and took these amazing pictures.Read more
Chevrolet Ute Force and the Ripples for Good Foundation have again partnered to help needy children. The Dargle Valley Primary School in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands was selected as the team’s final project for 2013 in order to spread festive cheer while giving the school a facelift in preparation for the New Year.
Several volunteers from the Chevrolet Ute Force project, Ripples for Good Foundation, local General Motors dealerships and Builders Warehouse stores volunteered their time and skills on Tuesday 27 November undertaking the mammoth tasks of waterproofing the school’s roof, painting the exterior and interior of the school, and replacing broken window panes. Teams also cleaned up the garden area, and then planted a new vegetable garden to support the school’s feeding programme.
“Acting principal Maureen Mavizela and her staff of six teachers invest much time and effort into providing the school’s 96 pupils with the very best education in a nurturing environment, despite tight budgets and limited facilities,” said Tim Hendon, Brand Manager, Chevrolet South Africa. “We were inspired by their dedication, so the Chevrolet Ute Force and Ripples for Good teams decided to end this year’s journey of making a difference in the lives of South Africa’s children at the Dargle Valley Primary School.”
“The principal, teachers and pupils take enormous pride in their school and its surroundings, and we wanted to encourage them to continue this by renovating the six classrooms and other facilities on the school property,” continued Hendon.
New crockery was supplied to replace items that had been stolen during the September holidays, and doors were reinforced to prevent further thefts. All the school’s leaking taps were repaired, and light bulbs were replaced with energy-saving alternatives, addressing water conservation and energy saving issues that are important to both Chevrolet Ute Force and Ripples for Good.
“Once all the hard work was completed, the volunteers shared a delicious meal with the children and enjoyed the jumping castle, face-painters and other entertainment provided,” said Maria Botha, Founder of the Ripples for Good Foundation. “It is important to remember that children need opportunities to play, dance and enjoy life – this is how they grow into healthy, well-balanced adults.”
Hendon added that the partnership with the Ripples for Good Foundation is just one way that the Chevrolet Ute Force project helps to change lives of needy communities across South Africa. “We encourage all South Africans to get involved in their communities as it is often the smallest changes that make the biggest impact in these impoverished communities.
“It is our priority to empower communities to help themselves by sharing our knowledge and resources to support sustainable development projects, such as Ripples for Good Foundation, that will make a meaningful change in the lives of South Africa’s children,” Hendon concluded.Read more
This month the Chevrolet Ute Force Indestructible Spirit Project focused its attention on supporting thirteen Mpumalanga primary schools in the Bushbuckridge community. Their efforts resulted in the development of an inter-school soccer league for over two hundred children, catering for boys and girls and involving twenty-six teachers. Check out what went down!Read more
In their second provincial collaboration, the Dreamfields and Chevrolet Ute Force Indestructible Spirit Project focused its attention on supporting thirteen Mpumalanga primary schools in the Bushbuckridge community this week. The collaboration will result in the development of an inter-school soccer league for over two hundred children, catering for boys and girls and involving twenty-six teachers.
With the help of the Department of Basic Education in Mpumalanga, the schools were chosen because they displayed an indestructible spirit, even in the face of daunting challenges. Through the Indestructible Spirit Project, teachers and parents from the local community will now have the support needed to further nurture the growth and development of these children by encouraging them to embrace the spirit of soccer, teaching them the importance of team work and discipline.
The Indestructible Spirit Project equipped the thirteen schools with DreamBags, which includes enough boots, uniforms, balls, training and refereeing equipment for a team of 15 players. Each team is responsible for taking care of their DreamBags, and is expected to keep the contents clean and well maintained ahead of each game, further instilling discipline and pride in the pupils.
Included in the DreamBags will be a consignment of One World Futbols, virtually indestructible soccer balls that will be used during practice sessions and skills development workshops. The One World Futbol is designed to endure punishment that ordinary soccer balls cannot, giving needy children the opportunity to play with a ball that lasts as long as their own indestructible spirits.
“Chevrolet places a great deal of importance on developing communities through sport, which is why we are a proud founding sponsor of the One World Futbol Project globally,” commented Tim Hendon, Brand Manager for Chevrolet South Africa. “Our collaboration with Dreamfields allows us the opportunity of introducing this incredible initiative to South African communities, and it enables us, through our local Ute Force project, to stimulate relevant and sustainable change where it is needed the most.”
“The Chevrolet Ute Force project by its very nature is a community-centric initiative that aims to partner with projects such as Dreamsfields to achieve meaningful change, one community at a time. Mpumalanga will be the second province to benefit from this collaboration, after our kick-off in in the Free State in August where twenty-one schools were impacted,” added Hendon.
The Grade 4 to 7 boys and girls were given their brand new soccer kits by the Indestructible Spirit Project during the launch of the league at Barney Primary School in Bushbuckridge on 9 October. Boys and girls will benefit from the development of the league, with a dedicated girl’s league being developed through the initiative.
Chevrolet has teamed up with Dreamfields to use the beautiful game of football to inspire school children at two schools in the Free State province. For more information about our missions follow @Chevroletsa and like us our Facebook page www.facebook.com/ChevroletsaRead more