Hi-Tec calls for people to donate their “birthdays”
Hi-Tec has teamed up with seven-time Dusi Canoe Marathon winner, Martin Dreyer, and his partner Mike Mbanjwa who is in fact indigenous to the Dusi Valley area. Dreyer trained Mbanjwa and the duo formed a successful partnership, by winning the famed event.
Upon seeing the formidable talent than can be unearthed in the area of a Valley of 1000 hills during the pair’s training sessions in the area, it was only a matter of time before Dreyer set up the Change a Life Academy in 2009, which would expose these young men to the world of paddling and running.
Donate your birthday
Hi-Tec are – as the trend finally reaches SA – using social media to give exposure to the Change a Life Academy. Still, their method is novel: utilizing their burgeoning fan base on Facebook (with over 21 thousand likes), they allow individuals to “donate” their birthday to the Academy. The Hi-Tec developed Facebook application, users are able to select a Change of Life athlete, and provide them with a donation that will add to their training regime.
These young men at Change a Life Academy have endured living conditions that most urbanites would never have experienced. The exploits of Mike Mbanjwa and Lucas, Martin’s right hand man and fellow coach, have not gone unnoticed by the locals. Mbanjwa built his mother a home in the valley, while Lucas gets paid for coaching the athletes. This has given the youngsters exactly the inspiration that they needed to become successful. The Academy’s main expenses are the cost of travelling and their race entries. What is encouraging, though, is the fact that the academy is steadily growing .
As with all social media, interactivity is paramount. Fans can meet the athletes, track their training programmes and race entries, and click the tab to donate their birthday.