Unlike her fellow international competitors who have the time and resources to train three hours a day, six days a week, Nicole has achieved huge success as a dressage competitor through sheer determination and a burning ambition to fulfil her dream of competing for South Africa in the Paralympic Games in Brazil in 2016.
Whilst Nicole has proved that she is more than capable of competing at the highest level and against some of the world’s leading dressage champions, she has done this on borrowed horses and with a mere 45 minutes per week of training at SARDA (South African Riding for the Disabled), Cape Town. This alone is testament to her exceptional ability as a dressage rider and her remarkable resilience despite the obstacles put in her way.
Sadly, however, without the necessary financial backing, Nicole is unlikely to achieve her dream of competing in the Paralympics 2016 and making South Africa proud.
It was in March 2014 that ex-South African cricketer, Brett Schultz, and his partner, Georgina Swain, first came across Nicole Sanders. They were undertaking a site visit to SARDA, the charity for which they would be cycling the 2014 Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour. Nicole was training in their indoor arena at the time, under the expert guidance of SARDA’s senior instructor, Teri Smith.
“Whilst Nicole was achieving exceptional results in dressage arenas across the world, we were told that, through insufficient funding and limited access to training, time was running out for her to realize her South African dream,” Brett explains. “The commitment and dedication that Nicole has shown to her sports discipline is hugely commendable. As an able-bodied sportsman in my day, I can only but respect her passion and drive. We decided there and then to do something to help keep her dream alive.”
And so it was through this Pre-Argus conversation at SARDA, and subsequently the generosity of sponsors Eurolux and Econorisk (for which Brett is a director), as well as the kind support of SARDA, Craig Hinds of Watershed and restaurateur, Mike Lumb, that Nicole’s “Journey to the Paralympics 2016” fundraising campaign came alive.
On Sunday 20 July 2014, the campaign will commence when top SA band, Watershed, takes to the stage for an intimate food, wine and music experience. The lunchtime event will take place at B.B.Ques, a rustic converted cellar next door to celebrated restaurant, Simon’s, situated on the picturesque Groot Constantia Wine Estate.
The fundraiser will be open to no more than 150 guests, with tickets costing R600 per person. Guests will be treated to farm-to-table style gastrofare consisting of a traditional Cape winelands lunch, including hearty stews and soups, and artisan breads – all served barn-yard style, coupled with some of the best music South Africa has to offer, a blazing log fire and exceptional wines sourced from the local Constantia Valley wine region.
Eurolux is a longtime supporter of SARDA. “Through our involvement with SARDA we’ve learned of the therapeutic importance of riding for the disabled. The motion of riding helps the movement of the disabled person, giving them a sense of freedom in a world of constraints,”
Brett concludes: “Nicole has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to achieving her goals, even when all the odds may have seemed stacked against her. On behalf of the sponsors and supporters of this event, we are delighted to play our small part in assisting Nicole on her journey to the Paralympics 2016.”
For ticket availability and to book, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note, tickets are limited to 150 people only and allocated on a first come, first served basis.