The day started as any other Sunday, well almost… This Sunday was the Lace Up For Change (LU4C) dragon boat racing regatta and you can’t help waking up with a tingling feeling due to excitement and some nerves of course. It was RACE DAY! and this race was very special to some as they entered to honour a fallen fighter. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect, sunny skies and slight breeze with a touch of chirping birds. As the swarm of people started to come in, so did the excitement amongst all. For many first timers it was all about confidence, “how hard can rowing actually be” and “we got this!”, little did they know… for those more experienced folk, formation and being in sync was key and strategies were underway.
Boats went out 3 at a time manned by 21 rowers inclusive of a drummer to lead the teams to victory. Spirits were high, cheers were loud and laughter all around. Some raced for fun, some for victory, others for deeper reasons but we all raced to make a difference in someone’s life, as the saying goes, you cannot help everyone but everyone can help someone. This year’s race proceeds were dedicated to Ihata shelter for abused women and children, Tygerberg Children’s Hospital trust and our very own, new addition the Lace Up For Change (LU4C) bursary fund. We even had AGEM participate in the race, such a honour having them row amongst us and teaching us a thing or two about team spirit.
Spot prizes were given, sponsored by Parkers Quick Fit Centre, Release Massage and Fitness and Leather Affair, adding to the exhilaration and giving one that butterfly feeling as a name is drawn and you begin to cross your fingers and toes in hopes it was your name. Not only did the top 3 teams win medals and trophies for Gold, Silver and Bronze, but there were bonus prizes for the best dressed team, team with the highest spirit and upcoming team. A round of applause has to go to a new team H20 who placed 2nd and it was only their first time participating in the regatta and what an achievement! They were in sync, they were loud, they were proud and a highly motivated group of students. The best parts of the day were seeing young and old come together, friends and families cheering each other on all in the name of charity. “In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured” – Gordon B. Hinckley.
Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world and this is how it felt for many as the day brought families together and brought them closer. This year’s victors the Black Dragons placed all their hearts in the race as they did it for cancer fighter Shahiem Davids who has lost the battle 2 months ago. Last year Black Dragons placed 3rd with Shahiem at the helm leading them to a remarkable finish and this year they were determined and vowed to honour him by taking 1st place and as a family they did, with his sister in his place, banging the drums to their victory in his honour.
Lace Up for Change (LU4C) is dedicated to making a difference and supporting those in need and they have showed us that there is a way for everyone to participate and give a little even if it’s just your time. Please support their cause as giving is not just about making a donation but it is about making a difference. Thank you LU4C for giving me the opportunity to be a part of your event. Thank you for all that you do and your dedication, may you be rewarded in abundance and may your efforts reach even further “Whoever opens a way to a charitable deed is like the one that has done this good deed (himself)”.


Zayaana Janodien-Oosterwyk thank you for offering to write this post for us – we are truly blessed with an awesome team of volunteers willing to go the extra mile for our beneficiaries.

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