Bautista experiences Africa with Riders for Health

Thursday, 15 December 2011

MotoGP star Alvaro Bautista embarked on an adventure of a lifetime to witness how he and other MotoGP riders are helping people in Africa receive reliable health care.

The Spanish rider joined 18 other motorcyclists plus Grand Prix racing legend, Randy Mamola, on November 23rd for Riders for Health Experience Africa, for a cross country journey aboard the same bikes that health workers use to deliver health care across Africa.

Early in the venture, Bautista recounted his second day in Zambia with a blog submission. At the conclusion of the cross country expedition, the 27 year old shared the following thoughts about the experience.

“People often wonder what it is that MotoGP riders do during the winter when there are no races. Obviously, there is lots of training to be done, but this November I was lucky enough to visit Zambia with the amazing charity, Riders for Health, and take part in their Experience Africa adventure.”

“The riding was great fun and the tracks and off-road routes were all twisting, undulating, fast in places, across a wide variety of surfaces. We road past savannah grasslands, maize crops and into forests. We were riding for a week and finished our adventure in Livingstone, just a few kilometres from Victoria Falls. I thought that my first days riding had been amazing, but the last two were even better.

”I always knew that it was important to support Riders for Health when I donated items to their auctions at Day of Champions, but to see what they do with the money they raise is amazing. We visited a clinic and heard how hard it is for the health workers. We met people who had had to walk for many hours to visit the clinic, which had so little. One of the health workers told us they cared for a village 80 kilometres away. Without a vehicle, how would they ever reach it? It is so important to make sure the health workers have a motorcycle.”

“We were also told about how Riders for Health looks after vehicles so they never break down. It is easy to see how the rough roads could cause a bike to break. That is why the technicians are so important.

“What I will always remember about Zambia was how warm and welcoming everyone was. The children would stop and wave to us. But it was sad to think that these children do not have the chance to be children. We saw one girl, who must have been no older than four or five, carrying her baby sister on her back. She had to look after her sister instead of having the chance to be in school or to play with her friends. In Spain we live to enjoy. In Zambia, they live to survive.”

“Riders for Health gave me the opportunity to take this incredible adventure, and I would like to say a big thank you to the wonderful friends I met on the ride. They were a fantastic team and I will remember them all.”

“It has been very important for me to see just how important the work of Riders for Health is, and how the support of all of us in MotoGP is making a difference. It is something that I will remember for the rest of my life.”

For more information on how you can join Experience Africa 2012 please email experienceafrica@riders.org

TAGS 2011 Alvaro Bautista

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