Tokai cycle club shifts up a gear to help children smile

Members of the Cyclewize Cycle Club on the club’s final ride for Cycle for Smiles in Green Point.

Twenty-three cyclists from Cyclewize, a Tokai cycling club, joined 600 participants from more than 20 countries in Operation Smile’s Cycle for Smiles to help transform the lives of children born with facial deformities.

During October and November, each participating cyclist in the global event committed to riding a minimum of 400km in 40 days and to use their challenge to encourage their friends and family to help them raise funds for life-changing surgery for children with cleft lips and palates.

A few went further and doubled the challenge distance with one Cyclewize member, Takalani Makhavhu, completing 1 115km.

The fund-raising target of R55 000 was far exceeded and a total of R80 458 was raised to help Operation Smile, one of the world’s largest volunteer-based non-profit organisations.

To date, 600 registered participants have ridden more than 33 800km.

Cyclewize chairman Chris King said: “As a club, we recognise the daily challenges faced by children and their families with cleft conditions. By supporting Operation Smile through our Cycle for Smiles challenge, we want to make a difference in their lives by raising funds for life-changing surgery.”