Premier Helen Zille Welcomes 2012 Pick 'n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour Participants
Premier Helen Zille has welcomed participants in the 2012 Pick 'n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour on behalf of the Western Cape Government, ahead of the cycling event on Sunday 11 March. In her welcome statement, she described the cycle tour as an "iconic event" that is a "must-do for any cyclist". The event attracts cyclists from a spectrum of backgrounds, from beginners to regular enthusiasts to old pros, who come for the event both from locally and abroad.
Highlighting that 2012 marked the 35th edition of the cycle tour, Premier Zille also noted the crucial charity fundraising component of the event. The Cape Town Cycle Tour Trust has offered 5 000 entries to charities and corporates in the form of bonds, enabling cycle tour participants to ride for their favourite charity and make a real difference. "Being charitable is truly befitting of the legacy of this great event, "she said, adding that she was pleased that the Cycle Tour gives a platform for raising awareness on various social causes. "It is for that reason that I am participating as part of the 'I Play Fair' Team. Discouraging drug use, both in and outside of sport, cannot be emphasised enough."
Western Cape Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, Alan Winde, commented on the value of the event in the context of sports tourism. "The Cape Argus Cycle Tour has continued to grow from strength to strength. This year's race will undoubtedly be a resounding success - just as past races have. Last year, the race drew 35 000 visitors to the City of Cape Town, and contributed R650 million to the Western Cape's economy. This is a welcome injection of funds that will improve the livelihoods of citizens of our province," he said.
The cycle tour helps build Cape Town's reputation as a world-class sporting destination and further markets the city and the Western Cape in general as a premier tourist and investor destination which boosts the regional economy and creates jobs. "I extend a warm Mother City welcome to the domestic and international cyclists that have come to our city to participate in the race," Minister Winde concluded.
Premier Zille also raised the importance of co-operation in the organising of the cycle tour, saying, "This event requires meaningful partnership between different stakeholders in order to run successfully. I would like to thank the medics, marshals and all the other volunteer support teams for the sterling job they do in ensuring the well-being of all participants. We remain committed to co-operating with the organisers, sponsors, cyclists and supporters to promote cycling in the Western Cape and ensuring that we have a fun, safe Cycle Tour that is 'Better Together'."