Young people from across South Africa selected for unique global adventure

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The Sapinda Rainbow project and Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF) has revealed the eight young South Africans selected to create a ‘tag’ team, each to participate in one of the eight legs of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - at 40,000 miles it’s the longest ocean challenge on the planet! The unique initiative aims to develop young community leaders of the future and global ambassadors to raise international awareness and funds for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

30 young people from across the country aged 18-23 were shortlisted and have participated in a tough selection process over the last three days hosted by Sail Africa in Durban. All candidates were put through their paces in a series of tasks which include sailing familiarisation and aptitude; media, communications and presentation skills; writing and blogging exercises, and one-to-one interviews.

“We had an excellent group of young people here over the weekend and the selection process was very difficult for the judging team,” explained David Cusworth, the Clipper Race crew manager who was part of the selection panel. “We were looking for candidates who would benefit the most from the experience in terms of their personal development and the impact they could make on their communities after competing in the Clipper Race.”

The Sapinda Rainbow project is working with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund (NMCF) which promoted the opportunity throughout its network and encouraged nominations from the communities it serves of young people aged 18-23. The successful candidates will also raise awareness around the world of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust.

Mpaki Pule, donor relations manager with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund was present at the announcement and said: “All the young people who participated this weekend demonstrated the strength of the youth of this country. The ones that have been selected to compete in the Clipper Race are exceptional. I hope this experience will help them achieve their full potential.

“This is a unique partnership and the opportunity it will give us to reach a global audience to support the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital project is another important dimension. I think it could make a huge contribution towards achieving Nelson Mandela’s legacy of a world class specialist medical facility for South Africa’s Children. I would like to thank everyone who has made this possible, especially its sponsor, Sapinda Group.”

The project is funded by the Sapinda Group to give young people a unique personal development opportunity through participation in a life-changing global adventure and at the same time encourage them to become a catalyst and role model within their own respective communities.

Dirk van Daele, Sapinda Executive Committee member and CEO of Anoa Capital, participated in the 2009-10 edition of the Clipper Race and experienced first-hand how the event was used to develop young people from other countries. He said: “The Clipper Race is a unique event which changes lives. I am delighted with the young people that have been selected to participate in this exciting project. All the candidates we saw were quite remarkable and fro a diverse range of backgrounds. We were not only be looking for what candidates can do individually, but what they can contribute through leadership and gaining confidence which will ultimately be a catalyst back within their own communities.”

Founder and Chairman of race organisers Clipper Ventures, legendary yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has sent a message of congratulations to the crew that have been selected for the Sapinda Rainbow project. Sir Robin said:

“Congratulations on being selected to take part in the 2013-14 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. I look forward to meeting you when you come to England for your training.   I shall watch your progress with interest. By passing the selection process you have created for yourselves a wonderful opportunity and a chance to develop those elements of skill and character that will be a sure foundation for the rest of your lives. Well done and good luck.”

The team will leave for the UK from Cape Town on Friday 26 July – the official ‘birthday’ of NMCF – to undertake an intense period of training prior to the race start on 1 September 2013. Cape Town is the South African host port for the Clipper Race and will host the fleet of twelve 70 foot ocean racing yachts in late October.

The eight crew and two reserves are detailed below together with quotes from interviews during the selection process:

Leg 1 UK – Brazil: 
Siyaya Nomcebo 
“The biggest challenge is I think a lot of people lack confidence and they don’t have the confidence to achieve their dreams. I think being away from home will be hard. I’ve never been away from home and this trip to Durban has been the first time. The weather on the race looks very challenging. I’ve never been that cold!” 
From: Mtubatuba, Kwazulu Natal 
Community Group: Rec Star 4 Life 

Leg 2 Brazil to South Africa 
Nokulunga Nkwanya 
“I could teach people from my community everything I’ve learned through the Clipper Race. It will be a big challenge but I’m excited at the thought of being able to do it.” 
From: Hluhluwe, Kwazulu Natal 
Community Group: Rec Star 4 Life 

Leg 3 South Africa to W Australia 
Mbongiseni Oludlu 
“As young people we are facing big challenges like peer pressure and teenage pregnancy. We don't have enough good facilities like sports centres where we could expose our talents which is a big issue. I hope to inspire my community and show them dreams can come true. It’s my dream to come to Durban and then take part in the race.” 
From: Johannesburg, Gauteng 
Community Group: Diepsloot Youth Projects 

Leg 4 W Australia – Sydney, Australia 
Masibulele Liyaba 
“My friends and parents believe in me and lots of people believe I can do it in my community. It will prove that even if you have done bad things in the past you can change and achieve good things.” 
From: Orkney, North West 
Community Group: Guidance Education Youth Project 

Leg 5 Australia – Singapore – China 
Blessing Lethukuthula 
“A lot of young people abuse drugs which is a big problem in our communities, people dropping out of school. Some people do not understand the importance of education. I think the biggest challenge in taking part will be adapting to the new situation and being out of my comfort zone.” 
From: Springs, Gauteng 
Community Group: Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund 

Leg 6 China – San Francisco USA 
Nqoba Mswazi 
“My seamanship skills would improve a lot through the Clipper Race, without those skills you cannot sail a boat correctly. I enjoy helping new people find sailing while working for Sail Africa but I want to improve.” 
From: Durban 
Community Group: Sail Africa 

Leg 7 San Francisco – New York USA 
Mency Madolo 
“Where I live there is nothing to do. So many people get into trouble. This would be a great opportunity for me to do something very different with my life.” 
From: Mtubatuba, Kwazulu Natal 
Community Group: Rec Star 4 Life 

Leg 8 USA – Europe – UK 
Lebalang Molobele 
“When you dream something big there’s not a lot of people to support you. You have to go out and try and do it yourself. You go out and figure it out but it’s not easy as some people have more resources and help than you so some people get demotivated. The hardest part will be the weather and conditions. I think adjusting to conditions I’m not used to will be hard but I will adapt and learn how things work and about other people.” 
From: Soweto, Gauteng 
Community Group: Diepsloot Youth Projects 

Reserve (There are 2 reserves who will go to the UK to do all the training with the rest of the team and watch Race start in London – They will be on standby in case there is any reason the main crew cannot participate) 
Tshepo Shai 
From: Tzaneen, Limpopo 
Community Group: Huresic 

Lazarus Tshikovhi 
From: Thohoyandou, Limpopo 
Community Group: Thohoyandu Victim Empowerment Programme