Tsogo Sun Amashova wheelchair entrant, Grant Oosthuyzen, received a recent boost ahead of his attempt to be the first wheelchair-bound competitor ever to take on the iconic cycle race – and using just his toe!
Oosthuyzen won a prestigious KZN Sports Award in the Volunteer of the Year category recently and reports that he is ready for the race which takes place on the 22nd October.
Oosthuyzen is a KZN development officer for Boccia, a precision ball sport played by wheelchair bound athletes with severe physical disabilities. Oosthuyzen’s dream is to raise R80 000 from doing the Tsogo Sun Amashova following recent funding cuts which have hamstrung the sport. He will be participating in the 35km race in a bid to raise the necessary funds for Boccia. “I have raised R31 000 so far and we are calling on everyone to please assist for this great cause to uplift disabled sportsmen and women,” he says.
The graphic designer and photographer from New Germany, Durban will be operating a custom-made wheelchair with nothing but his big toe. “It’s going to be tough stuff but the cushions on the specially adapted chair will keep me comfortable,” he says.
The wheelchair is being fine-tuned to cope with the 35km distance and the many hills the race will throw at him. Oosthuyzen’s game plan is to stop every 10km for a rest and battery change. He is also getting his physiotherapist to check his leg function en route to ensure he can continue. About his training meal plan he laughs and says, “I eat anything and almost everything. I need to eat regular meals and drink lots of fluids to keep me going.”
In addition to his physiotherapist, Oosthuyzen will rely on family and volunteers to assist him during the race. “It will not be easy for a cyclist to ride at this speed so their challenge is as great as mine,” he says.
Tsogo Sun Amashova Race organiser, Annie Batchelder says, “Grant’s participation in our race encapsulates the true spirit of Amashova! Not only is our race for competitive riders, but we love encouraging people from all walks of life and all ability levels to participate. It’s great that they can enjoy the full road closure on the day alongside other cyclists. So many Amashova riders support charities and it’s fantastic that Grant is doing the same. We congratulate him for winning at the KZN Sports Awards and will be cheering him on to successfully compete in the Tsogo Sun Amashova as our first-ever wheelchair athlete.”
To support Grant please contact him via his Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/grantsamashova/
For more information on participating in the Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic go to www.shova.co.za.Tags: Cycling, Tsogo Sun Amashova, Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic