The Cows rally support for national 12-Hour Lockdown Challenge

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National lockdown and the mass scrapping of sporting events have not slowed down the group of fund-raising sporting enthusiasts The Cows, which has decided to host a national twelve hour marathon on Saturday asking supporters to complete thirty minutes of sporting activity in their own homes as part of a co-ordinated national event.

Run by the organiser of the KZN Herd Iris Varty, the participants can book a thirty minute time slot anytime between 6am and 6pm, for which they have to make a R30 donation to the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation of South Africa through a special GivenGain account.

“It is open to absolutely anyone, you don’t have to be a member of The Cows or anything like that,” said Varty. “There are so many videos of people doing unusual workouts at home during the lockdown. Now we want everyone to come together to do whatever workout they want to, and do it for a really good cause.”

“Run around the garden for thirty minutes, ride your bike in the garden or your static trainer, do yoga, go for a walk, play golf – anything is allowed in the 12 Hour Lockdown Challenge!” she explained.

The Cows have set up a Facebook Group for the event with all the details. Anyone wanting to be part of the national campaign should email Varty on . Participants will be allowed to upload their photos or videos of their thirty minute activity onto the page, and prizes will be awarded to the zaniest posts.

“The lockdown has really managed to bring this country together, even if has done this by keeping us apart, she added.

“One of the consequences of the lockdown is that a number of sporting events that The Cows regularly use to raise money for CHOC have been cancelled, like the Two Oceans this weekend. That has meant that the income that CHOC derives from The Cows to run their CHOC Houses at hospitals where kids are getting cancer treatment is drying up.

“So this way we all get to exercise, have fun, connect online, and most importantly through each of our small donations, we are helping our little heroes,” she explained.

Varty herself will be busy all day on Saturday as her enthusiasm to run the national twelve hour project has led to several donors offering to make substantial donations for each half-hour she is on her static bike at her home.

“I guess that will mean twelve hours on the bike for me on Saturday!” she chuckled.

The event Facebook group can be found at

More information about The Cows can be found at

Photo: Iris Varty (right) and her daughters Julia and Lauren preparing for Saturday’s 12 Hour Lockdown Challenge with The Cows to raise funds for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation. “Anyone can take part,” says Varty. “All it takes is thirty minutes of some form of activity between 6am and 6pom ion Saturday and a R30 domination to CHOC.

About The Cows
The Cows were started in 2008 by a group of eight enthusiastic cyclists keen to make a difference and raise funds for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation of South Africa. Cordi van Niekerk was one of the founder members and joined Kerrin and Grant Bain in cycling the 947 Cycle Challenge in memory of their daughter, Jessica, who had recently died from cancer at just 20 months old.

As CHOC had played a significant role in the Bain family’s life in the last few weeks of Jessica’s life, specifically with palliative care and emotional support, the decision was to make CHOC the beneficiary of their quest. They decided to don cow suits and succeeded in raising R230 000.

In 2009, the herd gained momentum and grew to 140 energetic cows. Just two years later the herd numbered a staggering 350 cows all riding for a purpose. Armed with the ‘Love Living Life’ slogan and a healthy dose of enthusiasm, the herd has enjoyed much success and acclaim.

Ten later, hundreds of people have participated in events wearing cow suits. The Cows have raised well over R30 million for specific projects implemented by CHOC and The Cows brand is prominent in many sporting events in South Africa. With these funds, CHOC is able to make a difference to the children being treated for cancer throughout South Africa.

One herd; one quest: to make a difference to children with cancer. Love Living Life!

More information can be found at

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