A quirky but worthy tradition has grown around the Rugby World Cup for over a decade, adding a bit of South African ‘gees’ and generosity to this fabled competition. For the past three tournaments, one man on a bike – not a celeb or local politician – has delivered the whistle for the first game!
That man is SA adventurer Ron Rutland, who set off on 14 March 2022 with fellow Mzansi explorer Adam Nunn on his latest charity fundraising bicycle trip for the World Cup – from Japan to the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
While Ron is a veteran of several rides to previous Rugby World Cups, having cycled from Cape Town to London in 2015 and London to Tokyo in 2019, it’s Adam’s first outing. Adam recalls being inspired to join in after being part of the production crew that covered Ron’s 2019 ride from London to Tokyo.
Supporting kids through rugby
Of all the reasons one can have for cycling thousands of kilometres through 15 countries, doing good seems like the perfect justification.
Ron and Adam are hoping to raise at least $200,000 by ‘selling’ each of the 20,000 kilometres they plan to ride at US$10, in aid of ChildFund Rugby – the official charity of the Rugby World Cup. ChildFund Rugby uses rugby to help young people practise the skills they need to keep safe in a rapidly changing environment and supports global efforts to achieve gender equality and end all forms of violence against children. The charity’s work currently consists of programmes in Cambodia, Laos, Fiji, and Vietnam, and support for projects delivered by partner organisations throughout Asia, Africa and the Americas.
But aside from the strenuous ride, raising money in all those countries is a logistical and financial remittance challenge in itself. Happily, Ron and Adam found a partner that can match their cross-continental ambition in GivenGain.
The GivenGain Foundation is a non-profit fundraising platform founded by South African brothers Johannes and Jaco van Eeden. A truly global platform unlike any other, it allows any registered charity in any country to raise money from donations in any currency anywhere in the world. And that’s perfect if you’re planning a fundraising adventure on the scale of Ron and Adam’s Race to the Rugby World Cup.
For Jannie Smith, Regional Manager for GivenGain in South and Sub-Saharan Africa, supporting such an ambitious fundraising journey is all part of the job.
“We’re delighted to be supporting Ron and Adam on their race around the world, which will see them deliver by bike the first whistle to the Women’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.”
“Accommodating a challenge of this scale and cross-border complexity is just what we do at GivenGain,” says Smith. “Facilitating cross-border donations quickly and cost-effectively is exactly the challenge we set out to solve when we built our fundraising platform in 2001. Our charitable foundation can process donations from any country and help a charity reach a truly global audience with the help of an army of committed supporters.”
Whether you are planning a global fundraising challenge or raising funds for your favourite local cause, GivenGain can help. Visit www.givengain.com for more details on the incredible free service GivenGain offers fundraisers, charities, companies and events.