Sowetan helps hospice kids in cycle challenge
The Sparrows Rainbow Village, west of Johannesburg, was the first hospice in the world to look after adults, children and families living with HIV-Aids.
Founded in 1992, it is now a sanctuary for more than 200 children and almost 100 adults who are infected or otherwise affected by HIV.
The hospice created another first when eight of its children participated in the Children's Cycle Challenge, sponsored by Pick 'n Pay and Radio 94.7, on November 18. The bicycles ridden by the Sparrows children were presents from Sowetan's Mama Angel.
The race gave the children a chance to have fun with new friends.
"The race went beautifully," said the founder and chief executive officer of the hospice, the Rev Corine McClintock.
"It rained a little on the day but all the children completed the race and got a little something at the end."
The eight participants from Sparrows were each allowed to bring two of their friends to cheer them on.
The bikes still provide all the children in the hospice with hours of pleasure.
"They now share the bicycles and love riding them and showing off," McClintock said.
The children's camaraderie has now been extended to the soccer field.
The Sparrows Soccer Club, started three months ago, is now part of the Mogale City Football Association.
The club is unique because it is made up of 16 boys and girls aged between nine and 16. It plays league games every Saturday.
"The children enjoy playing and have shown incredible talent and skill.
"Some of them could grow up to play in the national team," said the soccer club's founder Mary-Ann Macdonald.