Put Foot Rally 2012 has drawn to a close, with many a triumphant contender.
One of these was a Suzuki Grand Vitara, which successfully completed the 7000 km, 7 country trip across southern Africa. The rally, mostly off the beaten track, has become an annual charity sensation, selling out so quickly that organisers had to introduce a second leg for this year’s event.
The GV was piloted by Team Half Full Four, and sponsored by Suzuki Auto South Africa.“Suzie, as we dubbed our trusty Grand Vitara, completed the more than 7 000 km without any technical issues whatsoever, despite conditions that were arduous at times,” says team captain Ron Rutland.
The team consisted of Rutland and three friends from New Zealand – Jimmy ‘Radar” Parfitt, ‘Field Nurse’ Kate Parfitt (both based in China) and Helen ‘Ostrich’ Parfitt (who lives in London).
A total of 60 teams took part in the 17-day rally, organised by the Put Foot Foundation. The foundation provides African learners with brand new, South African-made leather school shoes – and the hope, pride and dignity those shoes represent.
Collectively, the participating teams raised R600 000 for the foundation. This year, a portion of the funds was donated to Project Rhino, an initiative combating rhino poaching in Southern Africa.
The rally started in South Africa, and traversed Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi before ending on the Mozambican coast. The teams were able to choose their own route between compulsory check-point parties in each country.
Ron says the shoe drop in Zambia was a particular highlight of the event.“I believe it would have changed the lives and perspectives of the rally participants just as much as it did the lives of the learners who received those much-needed shoes.“I’d like to thank Suzuki Auto SA for its generous sponsorship. We’re over the moon that we were able to showcase the impressive capabilities of our trusty Grand Vitara over such varied and testing terrain,” Rutland concluded.
*Release courtesy of Suzuki Auto South Africa*
For more information about the Put Foot Foundation, or to enter (start saving now!) for next year’s Put Foot Rally – go here.