Four chubby yuppies have teamed up with glamour girl Liezel van der Westhuizen to tackle this year’s Ironman challenge and raise money for a very worthy cause – the communities and projects supported by the charity, the Signature of Hope Trust. Besides Liezel, none of them has much experience in endurance sports or the triathlon scene but what they all have in common is the willingness to push themselves to the limit for something they believe in.
The initial idea was to do a half Ironman challenge and it originated in the offices of the deVere Group in Cape Town, where three of the five participants are part of management and trustees of the charity. Mike “Fat Boy” Fannin, Area Manager for the deVere Group, pushed the goal to a full Ironman. “Why do half when you could do it all?” and the target was set.
On 6 April, 2014, all five dedicated, if not deranged, characters will take to the beach at Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth to swim 3.8km in the frigid Cape Sea, cycle 180.2km and top it off with a leisurely run of 42.2km. As Brett “Fat Boy” Taylor, Senior Area Manager for the deVere Group South Africa said, “This is a three month flippin’ challenge to complete the Ironman.”
While some of the less fit members of the team have a simple target, “To not die!” as Brett Taylor, puts it, their mission is a serious one. “Fat Boys and Slim want to make people aware of the Signature of Hope Trust and all the communities it serves. We aim to raise significant funds that will make an impact on many around the country and ultimately change lives,” said Bryan “Fat Boy” Austen, Financial Officer and the third deVere member.
“We’re all ordinary people but we believe success comes from doing extraordinary things. This may not be extraordinary to some but it’s a huge challenge for us, office bound, normal blokes. We want to prove that real people can make a difference by putting ourselves out there, making a commitment and believing in something bigger than ourselves,” said Brett.
Signature of Hope is the beneficiary of the team’s efforts this year. Brett, Bryan and Mike, who all work for deVere Africa, are trustees of the organisation. Both Liezel “Slim” van der Westhuizen and David Taitz, the fourth “Fat Boy”, were introduced to the fund through association with deVere and are both super energetic supporters of the programme and Trust.
Their purpose is to raise funds through personal and corporate donations and to disperse these through a series of grants to organisations that are making real and sustainable differences in people’s lives.
“Every part of this initiative depends on participation from our supporters. It’s what gets us up at four in the morning to go for a run or keeps us on the road just that little bit longer in the evening. We need help from everybody out there to really make the difference and are prepared to sweat, cramp and bleed for that support,” said Mike Fannin.
Background: The Signature of Hope Trust
The Signature of Hope Trust is a non profit organisation that seeks to facilitate a means for successful individuals and companies to uplift communities in Africa. Their aim is to empower people to make a real difference by raising funds through regular contributions from their partners as well as the general public. These funds are then dispersed through a series of grants to carefully selected organisations involved in the execution of projects.
Donations can be made via cell phone
- sms “hope1” to 38000 to donate R10
- sms “hope2” to 42008 to donate R30
Follow the Fat Boys & Slim on Twitter: @4FatBoysandSlim #FB&S and Facebook: Fat Boys & Slim.