By Bruce Fordyce
I was delighted to be the guest speaker at the sponsors/media dinner for the Argus/Pick ‘n Pay cycle tour. This was a fun gathering at the Waterfront to celebrate the R6 million that has been raised for charity at this year’s tour. But it was also a great excuse to get lots of sportspeople together to enjoy socialising on a beautiful evening in Cape Town.
And it was a beautiful sunset evening at the Waterfront. One of those Cape evenings that make Capetonians question Vaalies like me about our choice of home town. While speaking I had to remind the audience that at least we have the Currie Cup!
Obviously the evening was essentially a Cycle Tour evening but it was heartwarming to see many other great sports events represented at the function. I was delighted to chat to the great Phil Liggett (sp?). What a wonderful ambassador he is for cycling. Of course his voice will always be synonymous with the Tour de France but he is such a legend that he must now be numbered in the pantheon of great commentators like Murray Walker (Formula 1) Bill McLaren (Rugby) Charles Fortune (South African cricket) etc.
I was particularly humbled to be introduced to the great Dave Bedford. In his prime Dave Bedford was a “blood and Guts” front running distance runner who held the World record for the 10000 metres before the East African Tsunami overtook the World. In the U.K. he is also famous for having won the English junior cross country title one morning in the early 1970s. Later on that same day he won the senior title for good measure.
But what was interesting about Dave’s presence was that he is not a cyclist (I, at least, can claim to have ridden 6 Argus/Pick and Pay cycle Tours). Dave is now the director of the London marathon. The World’s major multi participant events are now recognizing that we can all learn from each other. In the past cycling organisers would stick to cycling and marathon organisers runners to running. They really have no choice. For one thing many of us are not just cyclists or runners. We participate in both sports at times. In fact many of us participate in a few different endurance sports. Now it seems we are all one very big family and the exchange of ideas and expertise can only benefit everybody. Just think how much expertise we South Africans have to share with the sports World. Our ultra-distance multi participant cycle and running events are well known but what about events like the Dusi, the Midmar mile, and the host of triathlons and adventure races we organize.
Perhaps the visitors from major overseas events are here not just to gaze at our lovely sunsets but to learn from us as well!