uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge Media
01 Dec 2020
Written by: Dave Macleod
Rugby legend Pietersen back for a third uBhejane crack
Durban – Former Cell C Sharks star and rhino conservation enthusiast Joe
Pietersen will return to take on the 2020 uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge
for the third time when the one day events take place on Saturday 12
Pietersen will take part in the 270km event that starts that Umvoti Toll
Plaza and although the distance is slightly further Pietersen thinks he
ready for this year after, by his own admission, slacking off slightly
“In the first year I trained really hard and so last year I thought it
would be easy but it was tough,” he said. “I love events like this and
they still have such a crucial role to play not just in raising money but
in education around rhino conservation.
“It is a good cross-over between riding and conservation because not all
riders are into conservation and not all conservationists are riders so
there is a good balance between the two.
“It gives your average person the feeling that they are making a
difference even if it’s in a small way and by doing what they enjoy!”
Pietersen who is heavily involved in Nkombe Rhino, a non-profit
organisation that he founded in 2015 and focuses on protecting endangered
species in South Africa, where they continue to do a lot of hard work in
trying to grow awareness of the plight of endangered species, not just
rhino, in South Africa.
Although it might seem like the numbers of rhino poached has decreased,
Pietersen believes there are a number of factors that have contributed to
this and people must not see this as a win against poaching.
“There aren’t as many rhino to poach which means that poachers have to
search more for them.
“Also, with COVID-19 and reserves being closed the power of word of mouth
has decreased because there aren’t people in the reserves to pass on
“It’s definitely still a bleak picture and we are going to see another
rise in numbers with reserves reopening,” he added.
Given the impact that COVID-19 has had on the world this year, Pietersen
is grateful that they have been able to continue their work and he was
happy that they could carry on trying to make a difference.
“There were plans and budgets for conservation that got cut because of the
impact of COVID-19 but for us we did more than we thought we would and for
that it has been a great year for us from a conservation point of view,”
Those interested in taking
part may apply to enter, donations can be submitted and more information
can be found via the event’s website, www.ubhejanex.org.
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Former Cell C Sharks star Joe
Pietersen, who founded the non-profit organisation Nkombe Rhino in 2015,
will once again show his support for rhino conservation when he rides in
the 2020 uBhejane Xtreme MTB Challenge on Saturday, 12 December.
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