Bruce Wallis, technical sales representative for Kemtek Imaging Systems in Johannesburg has been cycling into the record books for a good cause. During the past 12 years, has achieved six Guinness World Records in endurance cycling, with his longest ride totaling 81 hours and 20 minutes.
Notably, he has the full support of Kemtek CEO, Gavin van Rensburg, who has also implemented several corporate fundraising initiatives. ‘Kemtek is committed to supporting several deserving charities and we therefore applaud Bruce for his cycling accomplishments, generating thousands of well-needed rands for a very worthy cause,’ said van Rensburg. ‘This festive season, we forfeited our annual Christmas lunch and staff and customer gift purchases and redirected funds to our nominated charities, giving each a welcome boost for the New Year. We’ll continue our charity efforts in 2013 and wholeheartedly support Bruce in his future cycling endeavours.
‘I’ve always pushed myself to achieve my best in any sport and when I started teaching Spinning for the Virgin Active Group, it was no different,’ said Wallis. ‘I’ve gravitated to spinning instead of road riding, eventually becoming a coach in this discipline and, in 2001, I challenged myself to a 60-hour endurance cycle to raise money for charity.
His desire to make a difference caught the attention of Denise Modlin who was involved with CHOC (Childhood Cancer Foundation South Africa) who collaborated with Bruce to make his dream a reality.
The special fundraising spin-athon event, which took place during the launch of Gateway Shopping Centre in Umhlanga Rocks, KwaZulu-Natal, was Bruce’s first Guinness World Record achievement and served as the platform for a long alliance with the CHOC Foundation.
Today, he’s a fully-fledged member of the now infamous CHOC cow brigade (where every cyclist wears a cow-print outfit), riding to raise funds for the charity’s numerous upliftment projects.
Most recently, Bruce completed a 12-hour spinathon, raising R46 000 for CHOC, and he hopped on an ice cream seller’s bike, in a full cow suit, to complete the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge in Johannesburg.
‘Support from every CHOC rider in the Momentum 94.7 road race is always phenomenal and 2012 was no exception. A record R3,2-million was raised for the charity at this event alone,’ said Wallis. ‘There are now over 400 riders around the country who are putting on their cow outfits for charity. During the last five years, they’ve helped to raise over R14-million for CHOC. This money is being put to great use.’
To date, CHOC has bought a residence in Soweto to house children who are being treated at Chris Hani Bara Hospital and October 2012 saw the opening of a new paediatric ward at the same hospital. Several vehicles were also purchased so that children can be safely transported to and from treatment sessions.
Additionally, CHOC is helping to upgrade the children’s ward at Johannesburg General Hospital and, with the money raised from the 2012 Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge, it will be buying a new CHOC house for children in East London and extending its Circle of Care activities in Johannesburg, including educating healthcare professionals on how to detect early warning signs of cancer in children.
These activities, and more, are the driving force behind Bruce’s future cycling goals. ‘It’s really rewarding to give something back while doing something you love,’ said Wallis. He’ll be back in the saddle in 2013, raising additional funds for CHOC and attempting to breaking some more Guinness World Records along the way.