Tuesday, 08 September 2020 19:07

Saray Khumalo climbs Mount Everest. Picture: Summits with a purpose Facebook page.

Award-winning mountaineer, entrepreneur, motivational speaker and libraries ambassador, Saray Khumalo has teamed up with Momentum Multiply to go big this World Literacy Day. Khumalo will be hosting an attempt for the Guinness World Record Cyclothon on 25 October 2020 to raise R1 million for digital literacy. As a bonus, the event will also serve as a platform to give corporate, sports and individual teams a chance to have some fun together for the first time since lockdown began.

The world record Saray intends to set is for the most money raised during an eight-hour static cycling event, which will all go to support a bold iSchoolAfrica initiative. The organisation, which is endorsed by Springbok Captain, Siya Kolisi, aims to set up a digital library in a rural or township school in every South African province. These digital libraries will consist of a mobile iPad lab supported by curriculum-based apps, training modules, dedicated programme facilitators and mentors.

“We’re all going a little stir-crazy after so many months in various stages of lockdown,” says Saray, “And this event will give teams the chance to get together and get active again – all in support of a fabulous cause.” 

The cyclothon, which will adhere to all mandatory COVID-19 protocols, will feature brave individuals who will cycle continuously for the duration of the event. All avid cyclists, corporates and socially conscious individuals are invited to participate by sponsoring a bike at a cost of R25 000, seizing the opportunity to cycle into the history books and improve literacy in South Africa through digital libraries.

“The digital divide has the potential to be the greatest divide of all,” says Khumalo, “It only existing deepens inequalities. So, this event has a serious purpose – to bridge this divide for children who don’t have access to digital tools they so desperately need lest they get left behind in the Digital Age.”

Saray has been actively involved in children’s charities since she was the 2IC at Discovery Bank, where she adopted Kids’ Haven under the auspices of the group’s corporate social investment programme. It was a decision that was to set multiple wheels in motion as it was at Kids’ Haven that Saray was invited to join a team planning to summit Kilimanjaro.

She accepted the invitation on condition that she could use the opportunity to raise funds for Kids’ Haven and the team was so successful in their effort that they were able to build an outdoor gym and covert a room into a library for the organisation in Benoni.

Now a new challenge awaits Saray. The present record for the most money raised during an eight-hour static cycling events is £30 856, which was set in the UK in 2016. At today’s exchange rate, that amounts to around R686 000, so if the South African event can raise R1 million, it will be a hard record to beat.

“Eight hours of cycling is pretty gruelling, even on a static bike,” says Saray, “But, we South Africans are made of stern stuff and this is a cause we can all passionately believe in. Sponsoring a bike is not only a chance to reconnect with colleagues and friends, but an invaluable investment in the future of both our youth and our county.”

Johan Kleu, Momentum Multiply’s Executive Head says, “As a brand, we have always been committed to growing South Africans by associating ourselves with initiatives with a shared purpose. We want to keep people healthy, safe and financially well. Improved literacy goes a long way to enabling financial success, so let us smash this record and build a future for those young South Africans who need it most.”

The attempt for the Guinness World Record Cyclothon challenge by Saray Khumalo and supported by Momentum Multiply, will take place as follows:

Date: Sunday, 25 October 2020

Time: Full day event

Venues: 20 bikes at select Planet Fitness gyms in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town

For further information about the cycle-a-thon, about sponsoring a bike or about volunteering to participate in the event, please visithttps://ischoolafrica.com/gwr4literacy/