Journey for Change

Journey for Change: Global Movement Aims to Empower Differently Abled People.

On 28 April 2016, a South African team of nine able-bodied runners, two hand cyclists and an amputee will embark on an epic 10-day relay journey from Cape Town to Pretoria. This non-stop, 24 hour journey through four provinces forms part of the OCAL Global (One Chance At Life) aim, which is to not only raise awareness around the needs of differently abled people but also to raise funds for two individuals who have suffered spinal cord injuries. The monies raised by the worldwide movement will provide these individuals with the necessary medical resources, much needed rehabilitation and acquiring the right wheelchair for their needs.

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OCAL Global was founded by Nicolene Mostert on the premise and belief that our success is not measured by our own achievements in life, but rather what we have helped others to achieve and accomplish. Says Mostert: “The two individuals we’re assisting in this first annual initiative will also be taken on board as the core team members of our 2017 journey. By doing this we will not only be facilitating their recovery but also show them that they can still have a life filled with adventure and purpose even in their now differently-abled bodies.”

The OCAL Global team, however, won’t be stopping there. They are also planning to enrol the two candidates into coaching courses in order for them to mentor the 2018 team members.

The current core team consists of Nicolene Mostert (Founder), Alun Davies (Co-Founder), WP van Zyl, Oswald Kydd, Jeffrey Yates, Bennie Erasmus, John Montanari, Samantha Lowe, Christopher Geils, Paul Ward, Ryan Anley and Simon Kohler.

“I was looking to make a difference in life right around the time I met Nicolene. Her mission to challenge a global belief system regarding disability resonated with me and it was a naturally easy partnership from there,” says Alun Davies, Co-Founder of OCAL Global. Having project managed a team of physically disabled athletes, including the world’s first triple amputee, going up Kilimanjaro made it as clear as daylight to this passionate duo that there is no such thing as disability. “It sparked the realisation that we are all in some way or another disabled, be it emotionally, physically or mentally,” Mostert concludes.

The group of able and differently abled athletes who will champion this challenge set to inspire any athlete or non-athlete, will be seen running from Cape Town to Pretoria, following the route through: Durbanville – Ceres – Breede River – Sutherland – Fraserburg – Loxton – Victoria West – Richmond – Hanover – Colesburg – Luckoff – Jagersfontein – Bloemfontein – Theunissen – Kroonstad – Parys – Magaliesburg – Centurion. They will culminate their run in the Wings for Life World Run on 8 May 2016, at Supersport Park in Pretoria.

OCAL Global has partnered with Puma and Biogen for this year’s journey. For more information, follow OCAL Global on Facebook, Twitter (@ocalglobal) and Instagram (@ocalglobal) as well as #OCAL2016.

No Excuses “Stands with Stan”

We are proud to welcome Stan Andrews to the No Excuses family, powered by Biogen. After having a right foot amputated at the age of 7, Stan did not let this dampen his athletic spirits and has since gone on to play soccer, tennis, table tennis, javelin, hiking, shot-put and in more recent years cycling and other endurance activities. Living by the motto “Live with passion and regret nothing”, Stan thrives on adventure, but his true passion involves helping people living with “disabilities” . Leading by example, Stan hopes to show people, able and disabled, that so much can be achieved if you have the passion and will to do it. It is with these traits that we celebrate another great ambassador who lives a life free of excuses.
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No Excuses launches!

It gives us great pleasure to announce the launch of the No Excuses motivational project and website, powered by Biogen.

The ability to be active is an absolute privilege, one which many of us take for granted.  No Excuses was born out of a genuine appreciation for individuals, where remaining active is somewhat more challenging than for others, and in recognition of their choices to persist in spite of adversity or disability of any kind. The campaign is also here simply to celebrate the privilege of wellness, and to encourage others to pursue their healthiest and best life possible.

 “It always seems impossible until it’s done”Nelson Mandela

The above words of former and legendary statesman, Mr Nelson Mandela perfectly sums up the concept of ‘living without excuse’, whereby ANY person can achieve the extraordinary, and that all things are possible despite any and all forms of adversity.  Apart from being a very popular hash tag and motivational talking point on social media, ‘#NoExcuses’ is more than a philosophy, it is a daily decision… one that combines self-belief with action.

The initiative recognizes individuals around the world who have achieved their relative level of success and achievement, in the face of physical, mental or circumstantial limitations and obstacles.  Through this project, and with the help of our partners, ambassadors and supporters, we hope to continue raising awareness and support for some really astonishing individuals, and in doing so provide motivation and inspiration for:

  • Others facing similar and seemingly impossible challenges and…
  • ‘Able-bodied’ individuals who realize they can actually do a whole lot more with what they have!

For those facing your own constraints or impairment – whether physical, financial or simply circumstantial, we trust that you will be inspired to DO WHAT YOU CAN WITH WHAT YOU HAVE in spite of these factors. For those that are privileged enough to have able bodies and no or little constraints, we hope that you remain inspired and aware that you have even less excuses to not be active. In other words, let us help you get off… and keep off those lazy butts! 🙂

Stay tuned to www.noexcuses.co.za to find out how you can get more involved in the #NoExcuses Revolution. We are also on www.Facebook.com/NoExcusesSA as well as Twitter: @NoExcusesSA – We look forward to engaging with you!

Cycling for children with disability

TMS Lesotho High Altitude Cycle Challenge 2014

Following the success of the previous two years, a team at Trollope Mining Services decided to take on the epic challenge of cycling across the mountainous landscape of Lesotho in the name of charity, and in particular for children with disabilities – now for a third time, and with great success!

What has become known to be a mentally, physically and emotionally challenging journey for every cyclist brave enough sign up involved a slightly different route this year, commencing once again at the Caledonspoort border post near Fouriesburg and ending at Katse Lodge on Katse Dam, with a total distance covered of approximately 230km over three days. This new route would prove to not only present the team with a whole new set of challenges, but also, if at all possible, to offer even more breath-taking scenery than the ones before.

What makes this cycle challenge unique is the fact that it takes place at extremely high altitudes, the highest point above sea level on route being 11 000 feet, effecting not only performance levels due to lack of oxygen but also recovery time and dehydration rates. Extremely steep gradients, poor road conditions and constant temperature variations also take their toll on body and mind, but the awe-inspiriting beauty of the Lesotho landscape rewards perseverance time and time again!

Completing this epic challenge is a great achievement for every cyclist. One that would not be possible without the unfailing support offered by the phenomenal backup team focused on making sure that a constant supply of drinks, food, snacks, extra kit, sun screen, medical supplies, moral support and spare parts is available at all times.

Thanks to the commitment and passion of those involved in putting together this incredible event for a third time, all the brave cyclists who signed up for the challenge as well as the overwhelming generosity of our sponsors, the team managed not only to complete this epic three day journey successfully and in great spirits, but also to surpass the set target for funds to be raised with the final number of R 1 280 700.00.

With the focus placed on children with disabilities for this year’s challenge, TMS has identified three worthy charity organizations with whom we will be partnering in order to improve the lives of children living with disabilities and their families.

The first charity to benefit is the Smile Foundation, which is a South African non-governmental organisation with a holistic health care vision for parents and children with facial conditions. The foundation works in partnership with the country’s Academic Hospitals to put the smile back onto children’s faces with free corrective facial reconstructive surgery and treatments. TMS will be donating the amount of R351 000 towards this cause.

Secondly we have chosen to work with the 94.7 Bidvest Hear For Life Trust, an initiative that was established by 94.7 Highveld Stereo in partnership with Bidvest in December 2005 and aims to assist less fortunate children in need of cochlear implant surgery. R549 000.00 will be donated towards making two of these cochlear implant surgeries possible.

The third charity to benefit from this year’s challenge is known as the Sunshine Association, which is a dynamic, progressive and innovative non-profit organisation working in the field of intellectual disabilities in children. Their diverse range of services and developments are a direct response to the needs identified in various communities, and R380 700.00 will be donated towards helping them construct a hydro pool at a chosen facility.

Trollope Mining Services would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person involved in this challenge for their contribution to its success. Once again the experience proved to be as rewarding for everybody taking part as for the families and children who will benefit from the funds raised.

Bidvest 94.7 Highveld Stereo
Hear for Life
Sunshine Association lgo-smile

Disabled team climb Kilimanjaro

If you have ever been guilty of making an excuse not to get out there and try something new or to challenge yourself beyond your comfort zone, this story is especially for you. This is a true story about a group of people, who had much, much bigger excuses than you or I to say “I can’t”, but instead they said, “I can and I will”! And then they went to conquer a mighty mountain against all odds and touched the roof of Africa.

It began with an idea from Guts2Glory, a local organisation that supports disabled athletes, taken up by renowned triple amputee Rajesh Durbal. A leadership and motivational expert based in the USA, he is passionate about living freely without limits. Rajesh wanted to take on a challenge that seemed impossible for a person with both legs amputated below the knee and only a partially developed right arm. He wanted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain.

The attempt to climb the 5 895m high mountain that has got the better of many able-bodied athletes was not just for the physical challenge, but also to help raise funds to provide prostheses to 1000 South African amputee children. Disabled athletes in South Africa were challenged to get involved to help raise funds and the ‘No Limits Freedom Tour’ was born.

Climbing Kilimanjaro

Up for the challenge

“I was asked if I would take up the Kilimanjaro challenge and captain the team,” says professional athlete and Biogen No Excuses ambassador Heugene Murray. “I said of course! I was proud to represent my country and I accepted because I want to make a big difference in South Africa, especially in disability awareness.”

An athlete from a young age, Murray was passionate about body building and wanted to become a professional body builder. After a bad sporting injury, the 38-year-old Murray, sadly had his left leg amputated above the knee in 2008. “I had to deal with a lot of trauma and I had to make decisions, which changed my life around by 360 degrees. I decided to stand up and make the best of my situation,” says Murray. Since then, he has been involved in disabled athletics and has represented South Africa and competed locally and internationally.

Apart from Heugene and Rajesh, the team was made up of South Africans Zizipho Ndlwana, (athlete and amputee below the knee), Kevin Waller (athlete and amputee below the knee), Dylan da Silva (who is physically challenged with no hands and short arms), Irish Matcheke (with a disabled arm) and Biogen / No Excuses Ambassador Nicolene Mostert (supported athlete sports therapist). From the USA Rajesh was accompanied by Dr Joe Maroon (Doctor) and Isabella Maroon (as a supporting athlete).

Inspiring disabled children

The ultimate goal of the challenge was to create awareness that disabled people can do anything that able bodied people can do. The team met up in Johannesburg and their first stop was to visit a number of local schools for children with disabilities to tell them all about the challenge.

“It was such a beautiful experience seeing the children light up when they saw the team and heard what they were taking on,” recalls Nicolene Mostert. “Going up Mount Kilimanjaro is such an achievement and was on my bucket list as well as each member of the team. To be able to share the hope that nothing is impossible, no matter what your disability (or different ability as I like to call it is) with these children was a privilege.”

The team received an overwhelming response. “People were so amazed at our determination and the reality of disabled individuals tackling the world’s highest free standing mountain. It was amazing to see the support and response,” says Heugene.

Freedom to climb

The No Limits Freedom Tour then travelled to Tanzania and embarked on the momentous climb that took five days to ascend to the famous Uhuru Peak at the top of Mount Kilimajaro at an elevation of 19 340 feet (5 895 metres). Disabled and able bodied alike battled with altitude, tough climbing conditions, extreme temperatures, sleep deprivation and the individual challenges that many of the disabled team members had to conquer. The team walked over 63 kilometres and spent eight days on the mountain in total. It was the toughest challenge that many of the team members had ever faced and was life changing for all.

Heugene reflects on what he learned from this incredible challenge: “We worked and trained so hard for this expedition. All of us are top athletes from different parts of the world. I thought I was physically prepared but it was still tough. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears. The teamwork between us was an incredible motivation. Reaching the summit was so emotional for everyone; there wasn’t one person that did not cry. I have learned so much and showed myself that anything is possible!

“It doesn’t matter how hard you’ve trained or who you are, there are many obstacles and challenges in your life that could stop you from reaching your goal. You can decide to stop or carry on. If you choose to carry on and are ready for all the obstacles and challenges they will hit you hard but you can overcome them by giving it all you’ve got and believing in yourself. The day you reach that goal you will look back and smile.”

After completing this incredible feat Nicolene firmly believes that there is really no limit to the human spirit on fire. “The limits we place on our lives are simply in our minds. Each of these team members had the opportunity to become real life heroes inspiring people that no matter your physical limitations there is no excuse for not striving to reach your goals.”

Climbing Kilimanjaro

Freedom to ride

Just over a week after the team had summited Kilimanjaro, incredibly some athletes were lined up at the starting line of the Cape Argus Cycling tour and competed in the 100km cycle ride. The athletes that participated in this leg of the No Limits tour were Rajesh Durbal, Dylan Da Silva, Paracyclist Kevin Waller, Irish Matcheke and Lesibana Masela.

Climbing Kilimanjaro

Biogen’s No Excuses initiative

“It always seems impossible until it’s done – former statesman Nelson Mandela”

Inspired by his own road to recovery after major heart surgery at age 28, Biogen Brand Manager Brandon Fairweather, developed a new found respect for people who have much more permanent injuries and disabilities to live with.

The concept of ‘living without excuses’, is the idea that any person can achieve the extraordinary, and that all things are possible despite any and all forms of adversity. Apart from being a very popular hash tag and motivational talking point on social media, ‘#NoExcuses’, it is a decision… one that combines self-belief with action.

This exciting initiative, powered by Biogen recognizes individuals around the world who have achieved relative levels of success and achievement, in the face of physical, mental or circumstantial limitations and obstacles. Through this project, and with the help of our partners including Dis-Chem Pharmacies, ambassadors and supporters, we hope to continue raising awareness and support for some really astonishing individuals and in doing so provide motivation and inspiration.

Stay tuned: Go to www.noexcuses.co.za to find out how you can get more involved in the #NoExcuses Revolution. We are also on www.Facebook.com/NoExcusesSA as well as Twitter: @NoExcusesSAWe look forward to engaging with you!