The charity relay is aimed at corporates and private groups who would like to get involved in raising funds, but are possibly not fit enough to endure the entire 240km ride.

Realising the desperate shortage of quality paediatric care across Africa, Stephen Saad heeded the call to help lead South Africa to raise awareness and establish a trust that will assist in supporting paediatric healthcare for underprivileged children.

Motivated by the untimely passing of Sifiso Nxasana, the son of Judy Dlamini, Chairman of Aspen and her husband Sizwe Nxasana, Stephen took up the challenge of cycling the 2012 Aspen Trans Karoo in order to launch the Trust and to raise the initial donations for this initiative. After completing the gruelling 240km race, Stephen raised in excess of R10 million for paediatric healthcare through the trust.

Stephen has now extended the challenge to all cyclists to form corporate or private teams and to participate in the 2013 Sifiso Relay and make a difference by supporting and improving paediatric healthcare in Africa.

Stephen Saad, Aspen Group Chief Executive said, "The Aspen Group continues to embrace the social obligation to assist in contributing toward improved healthcare needs of underprivileged children. I encourage the corporate sector and cyclists to support this worthy cause through sponsorship or a donation."

The relay teams will consist of 3 riders, with each rider completing an 80km stretch of the race, in order to raise as much funding for the Long Ride for Sifiso Trust as possible. Funding can be raised through a “per kilometre” sponsorship, a donation or a contribution. The winning team will receive the “Sifiso Relay – Down Ride” cup, the title of “Down Champions” until the next down ride in 2015 and the knowledge that they have contributed to the further support and development of paediatric healthcare in South Africa.

The 2013 Aspen Trans Karoo will take place on the 06th of April. Dubbed the “Down Ride” this year the race is being cycled from Sutherland to Ceres and is one of the longest single stage endurance mountain bike races in South Africa. Pitting man against the Karoo the distance, including 5 compulsory check point stops, must be completed within 17 hours in order for participants to avoid elimination.

Photo credit: Kolesky/ Nikon/ Lexar

For more information or to enter your team please email charity@orangeanvil.co.za. For additional info visit the Aspen Trans Karoo Website on http://www.transkaroomtb.co.za.

Find and “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter on @TransKarooMTB.