Cross discipline para-athlete, Sean Clarke is taking the impossible to new extremes to help raise funds for 16-year-old, James Thusi Willers who is in desperate need of a new prosthetic leg.
Over eight consecutive days (from 6-13 October), Sean is cycling 1 520km from Johannesburg to Cape Town and, after a short 24-hour recovery, the 28-year-old will brave the icy waters of the Atlantic by swimming 7.5km from Robben Island to Big Bay.
Engen has covered the fuel costs of support vehicles over the 8-day period and provided Sean with branded cycling kit and a R10k voucher to spend in Engen Quickshops along the route.
“I am doing this to raise disability awareness but also for a very special 16-year-old boy; James lost his leg as well as his hearing after contracting meningitis and needs a new prosthetic leg. I would like to assist his adoptive parents by alleviating some of their financial burden. Funds raised will be handed over to his parents for any future prosthetic, maintenance and repairs” says Sean.
“A high-grade prosthetic will provide him with a better quality of life enabling him to lead an active and fulfilling life – ensuring that his disability is not a barrier to his own successes.”
Johannesburg-based Sean, who professes to “loving crazy challenges to raise disability awareness,” completed the Comrades Marathon last year.
After completing the Comrades, Sean says he was advised by doctors to stop running but rather than applying the brakes, he was more determined than ever and turned to swimming and cycling.
“After my accident I realized that my life would be full of unique challenges, and I knew I had to focus my mindset on believing that I could achieve anything regardless of my abilities or circumstances.
“Participating in this challenge will allow me to illustrate the power of the made-up mind and how we can use this aspect of human consciousness to overcome our perceived limitations regardless of our abilities.”
By showcasing the unique experiences and needs of the disabled community, Clarke hopes to advocate for greater inclusion and understanding for people living with disabilities.
“This journey will allow me to further demonstrate the resilience and determination of people living with a disability and to show that we are capable of great things.
“I am a firm believer that with persistence and belief, differently abled individuals can achieve exceptional feats and that a disability is by no means a barrier to success.”
Adds Sean: “I am so grateful to Engen for sponsoring my cycling kit and fuel costs over the 8-day period, covering 1 520km.
“This will fuel my support crew who will accompany me over the duration of my ride.”
Funds raised for James’s prosthetic and all additional funds will be handed over to James’s parents, Will and Pat for safeguarding and will be used for prosthetic upkeep, maintenance and repairs,” adds Clarke.
Engen’s Stakeholder Engagement and Transformation Manager, Dr James Nyawera says the company is humbled to support Sean’s “Gammie-on-the-Go” challenge and play a small role in his inspirational journey to raise funds for a new prosthetic leg for James.
“Engen advocates for the creation of an equitable society where persons with disabilities can share access to every sphere of educational, work and social life so that together we can forge a future that is inclusive of all people,” says Dr Nyawera.
“As a caring and inclusive company with ‘heart’, this aligns with Engen’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which endeavour to ensure a better and more sustainable future for all,” he adds.
Route roadmap covering 1520km:
Johannesburg, Kroonstad, Bloemfontein, Colesburg, Victoria West, Fraserburg, Sutherland, Ceres and ends off in Cape Town.