The Cows Media Release


17 June 2019

Embargo: None

Written by: Dave Macleod

Comrades commeMOOration for The Cows

Durban - The Cows raised R1 685 873,00 for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation of South Africa at the recent Comrades Marathon, with stalwart Cow Axel Rittershaus finishing second on the overall list of top individual fundraisers.

It was the best fundraising effort ever by the black-and-white kitted Cows at the Comrades as they contributed the most of the six official race charities.

Cape Town-based Rittershaus single-handed raised R82,315 for CHOC with fellow Cows Heather Lock, Pat Freeman and Leana Coetsee also making it into the personal fundraising top ten.

“It was our best Comrades ever!” enthused their national co-ordinator Jayde Fouché or ‘Daisy’ as she is known amongst The Cows.

“Not only did we top the charity fundraising total, but we had 156 runners running in the colours of The Cows.

“Our aim is two-fold. The first is the raise funds for CHOC and the second is raising awareness of childhood cancer and the challenges this disease poses in South Africa.

“On both counts we can look back on a very successful Comrades. The teams that ran our two watering tables did an amazing job, not just in terms of helping all the runners but their energy and noisy enthusiasm is what The Cows are all about,” she added.

The officially recognised Comrades Amabeadibeadi charities are the Durban & Pietermaritzburg Community Chests, Childhood Cancer Foundation (CHOC), Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust, Hospice Palliative Care Association, Wildlands Conservation Trust and World Vision SA, who through the Comrades Marathon’s fundraising platform and their own efforts, raised nearly R4.4-million.

This amount includes R321,900 in direct voluntary donations from runners with their entries. R3,65 million was raised through the Race4Charity initiative whereby runners commit themselves to raising funds for the charity of their choice. A further R117 000 was raised through Amabeadibeadi and other charitable product sales as well as R147 000 as a result of the individual charities own initiatives.

A total of R147 080 was raised for charity through ticket sales at the Comrades Expo and via the App for the annual Toyota Win-A-Car lucky draw which took place on Comrades race day.

The top ten individual fundraisers:
1.Dean Wight (Hillcrest Aids Centre Trust) R 352,060
2.Axel Rittershaus (CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation) R82,315
3.Tracy Bamber (Wildlands Conservation Trust) R50,560
4.Mike Cowling (Community Chest Pietermaritzburg) R 49,950
5.Heather Lock (CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation) R 43,700
6.Justine Rae (Wildlands Conservation Trust) R40,505
7.Mauritz Oberholzer (Hospice Palliative Care Association) R39,585
8.Barry Holland (Community Chest Durban) R38,600
9.Pat Freeman (CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation) R35,070
10.Leana Coetsee (CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation) R34,090

More information about The Cows can be found at

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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 The Cows Logo - JPeg


Agie Govender of CHOC KZN (left) and The Cows KZN convener Iris Varty receive the cheque from the Comrades Marathon Association for the money raised for CHOC at this year's race. Supplied/
Gameplan Media

Axel Rittershaus (right) seen here with his wife Silke was once again the top fundraiser for CHOC at the Comrades Marathon as The Cows stalwart raised over R82 000 on his own for for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation. Supplied/
Gameplan Media

The CHOC Cows manned two water tables at the Comrades Marathon, helping runners with fluids, food and enthusiastic support. "The teams that ran our two watering tables did an amazing job, not just in terms of helping all the runners but their energy and noisy enthusiasm is what The Cows are all about,” their national convener Daisy said. Supplied/
Gameplan Media

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