Cycling to raise funds and awareness for children with cancer

On Saturday, November 13, 11-year-old Vikeshlyn Govender took part in the 947 Ride Joburg, organized by the City of Johannesburg to raise money for children with cancer.

According to the organizers of the iconic race, 947 Ride Joburg is more than just a bike race, it’s a platform for people to achieve something big.

The 6th grade Weltevreden Park primary school student started at the very back of the group to make sure he didn’t get lost in the crowd.

Vikeshlyn Govender. Photo: delivered.

He rode the 947 Ride Joburg for the third time this year and made his debut in 2019 with a 5km children’s race. This year he proudly finished the 10km MTB race.

Vikeshlyn has completed two other races to raise money and raise awareness for children with cancer: the Mandela Day Challenge at his school in 2019 and the Ride for Sarcoma in 2020.

“The race was so much fun but also exhausting; the off road riding was my favorite part of the race while the mountain bike track was very beautiful and filled with slopes which made for a thrilling adventure.

“I am not a cyclist. Sheer determination to honor my sister, and to raise funds and raise awareness for children with cancer, kept me going.

“It was a personal goal for me to achieve as I’ve never cycled more than 10km before,” said Vikeshlyn.

Vikeshlyn’s sister, Shanaya Govender, died on May 16, 2019 from a rare cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma.

Rainbows and Smiles, a non-profit foundation that supports children with cancer, helped the Govender family when their daughter was ill.

Vikeshlyn Govender. Photo: delivered.

Vikeshlyn revealed to the Northsider that he would always see posts about Bonita Suckling cycling to raise money and raise awareness for children with cancer, and when his school announced a cycling challenge for Mandela Day in 2019, he didn’t hesitate to get involved.

“I was so inspired by Bonita that I asked my parents if I could join to raise money for Rainbows and Smiles.

“My sister’s guidance is my greatest support, I always feel her spirit with me. My support system has many people who love and support me very much,” Vikeshlyn said.

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