Cycling the Dash for cancer awareness

Sport Reporter
ILoveBoobies, a local charity organisation filling in the gaps of cancer care through educational tools, early detection services, and support, has an all women’s team gearing up to race in the Nedbank Desert Dash Race, which takes place on 9 and 10 December, from Windhoek to Swakopmund.

Nedbank Namibia is the biggest contributor to the local cycling fraternity and has also committed to being a partner of the charity.

ILoveBoobies is a four-member women’s team made up of Jana von Backström, Vicky Vosloo, Mimi Hough, and Jonie Peters.

The team will take part in the world’s longest single-stage mountain bike event, which attracts well over 900 local and international cyclists annually.

Von Backström, a passionate cyclist, says Nedbank Namibia sponsored the team's entry for the race.

"We aim to match the entry fee with donations from the public to contribute to the 'early detection saves lives' breast cancer screening programme of ILoveBoobies".

Stark facts

Breast cancer is both the most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths among women worldwide.

One in eight (13%) of all women will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer among women. 85% of breast cancer occurs in women who have no family history of the disease. In some countries, up to 30% of women are unaware of breast cancer.

Early detection followed by appropriate treatment is recognised globally and in South Africa (Breast Cancer Prevention and Control Policy 2017) as the most effective method to reduce breast cancer mortality.

Most women who die from breast cancer live in low- and middle-income countries, where most women are diagnosed in late stages due to a variety of factors.

"Breast cancer is a concerning problem, and through the power of education and awareness, the risk to the lives of our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, and nieces can be radically reduced.

"A little-known fact is that men get breast cancer too; although the incidence is lower, anyone with breast tissue is at risk," says von Backström.

Growing awareness

ILoveBoobies has an online store offering a variety of running, cycling, and leisure items such as socks, buffs, cycling jerseys, and T-shirts at

Speaking of the sponsorship, Nedbank communications manager Selma Kaulinge said: "The Nedbank Namibia Desert Dash has certainly become so much more than just a cycling race; the event has certainly transcended the sporting foundation and has now also become something that inspires a number of participants to take on the gruelling journey through the Namib Desert for a good cause."

Upon taking over the title sponsorship of the Nedbank Desert Dash eight years ago, Nedbank Namibia invested over N$8 million.

This year, cyclists have registered to race across the three categories: solo men and women, and two- and four-member teams.

Cyclists from the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, USA, Germany, Canada, Germany, Zimbabwe, UK, Australia, Italy, Switzerland, Botswana, Malawi, DR Congo, France, and Austria will take part in the event.