Namibia: Legacy of Love Riding for Victims of Covid-19

24 November 2021

THE Legacy of Love cycling team will be riding in the Nedbank Desert Dash in December to raise money for families that have lost loved ones due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year the team will have 46 riders, of which two of the two-person teams are sponsored by Nedbank Namibia.

Legacy of Love was established in 2017 after Ronel de Beer and her husband Sybrand lost their 11-year-old daughter Lumé due to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).

Lumé's incredible love for life and the writings in her journal about love inspired her parents to use this platform to share the family's story, inspire, heal, comfort, and relate to other parents in similar situation. Through various Legacy of Love projects they promote loving unconditionally, as in 1 Corinthians 13, and living with a purpose and urgency.

De Beer, with several Desert Dash races under her belt, says every year the Dash is unique.

"I believe we will once again have a challenging time, especially this year, and we just have to tackle it with the best attitude and mindset possible. As Legacy of Love riders, we have an impact on the sport and the community with our message of having faith, maintaining hope and giving love, especially in such times as these."

Ronel says this is the third year that she and Sybrand are taking part in the Dash although they were not originally avid cyclists. In 2017, their friend, Frank Vermeulen did the Dash with Lume's name on his calves. In 2018, Sybrand's brother, Johan and Corné Brand took part in the Dash and asked them to design shirts for the Legacy of Love team.

In 2019, Ronel and Sybrand themselves decided to take part in the race. "While I was part of a four-man team, Sybrand started off with a solo race. His story is truly inspirational. Last year we were both in the same four-person team, as he had heart problems and was supposed to take it easy. This year, he had a triple heart bypass in June, and in August we decided to register as a two-person team."

Legacy of Love projects include Act of Kindness Comfort Boxes, personalized boxes given to people who are facing trauma in life, such as the loss of a loved one, serious illness, divorce, retrenchment, and so forth.

"Each box has a message of faith, hope and love, with items that will comfort, soothe and give you hope. The recipient will know that someone cares and understands,"she says.

The second project is Buddy Bench at primary schools. The buddy bench eliminates loneliness and fosters friendships on the playground.

"Showing love to other children, stop bullying, and comfort those that feel alone. Ultimately children should use the bench to spread hope, love, and faith. A strong message of caring and love accompanies the benches," she says.

Another project involves teams or individuals who can participate in the Legacy of Love clothing and create awareness and funding for projects. Legacy of Love also holds retreats for families, children, and teams to recover and rebuild through specific programmes.

Their riders for the Desert Dash are Anri Parker, Danie van Aswegen, Jan van Blerk, Hentie Hough, John Valentine, Pierre Lambert, Joachim Klitske, Daneel van der Walt, Tjaart van der Walt, Cobus de Waal, Francois Smit, Johan Fourie, Gert Maritz, Gregor von Medeazza, Sybrand and Ronel de Beer, Johan and Adriana de Beer, Johann Liebenberg, Anja Potgieter, Gerard Tromp, Schalk van der Merwe, Kallie Grunschloss, JG van der Westhuizen, Hannes Tait, Grant and Petra Müller, André Delport, André Smit, Ingram and Jo van Heerden, Johann and Christine Mouton, Philippus and Christelle Tromp, Cyril Kitching, Karel Esterhuizen, Clinton Mcelhone and Jean Langeveldt.

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