3Mountains Challenge, now powered by Hollard
|Issued by: Hollard|
[Johannesburg, 7 February 2017]
The Hollard Insurance Group, South Africa's largest independent insurance group, has come on board as the major sponsor of the 3Mountains Challenge, a mountain biking (MTB) and trail running event in Clocolan, in the eastern Free State.
And both Hollard and the organisers agree that it's the beginning of great things – for Hollard, the race and the Clocolan community.
The Challenge, which takes place from 18-21 March 2017, involves a variety of MTB and trail runs. These include four-stage events for both cyclists and runners, over both longer and shorter distances, as well as a combined event. There are also races suitable for kids, making it a true family event.
"While we've already grown a lot – we had 48 entrants in 2014 and 330 this year – things can now really start moving forward," says George Stroebel, the event organiser. "The event already features the largest multi-day race in the Free State, but we are now even more excited about growth prospects for the next few years."
Hollard's sponsorship represents the first time a corporate has got involved. This bodes well for the event's future, and for the benefits it brings to the Clocolan area.
For Johan Squires, Hollard's regional manager in the Central Region, the sponsorship represents the ideal partnership. "Hollard has enjoyed very good growth in the Free State in the past two years – including a lot of business in the Clocolan area – and 3Mountains has also demonstrated its growth potential, so when we got the opportunity to collaborate, we jumped at the chance," he says.
Squires is keen to point out that Hollard's involvement is not only about sponsoring a sporting event, but also about supporting social development initiatives in which the challenge is involved, such as the Lethotheng Community Centre.
The Lethotheng Community Centre, an initiative driven by the local Groenewald family, provides disadvantaged children with basic education, nutrition and clothing, as well as physical, emotional and cognitive development opportunities.
The project ensures the children do not end up on the streets, and are able to undergo proper schooling – ultimately giving them the opportunity to lead fulfilling lives.
Stroebel says the 3Mountains Challenge is closely involved with the project, and involves both the children and their parents in the event. "We've started a development team – both runners and cyclists – to introduce the children to sport, and they stand the opportunity to win prizes that encourage them to persevere with their activities. And we get their parents to help us with the race, which means the whole community is involved," he says.
"We are tremendously excited about the prospects for next year's race and about working with Hollard to expand the benefits that the race brings to the area."