Overstrand Executive Mayor Dudley Coetzee warmly welcomed the young men and women from the Saldanha Military Academy early this morning at the New Harbour in Hermanus.

The 200 Trans Enduro participants travel annually from Port Elizabeth to Saldanha over a period of 11 days, staying overnight in pre-determined towns along the way to raise funds for charity.

They also do upliftment projects at crèches, schools and homes for the elderly in the towns they visit, while another team goes into the various communities to raise funds and create awareness about the Military Academy.

In his speech the Mayor wished the students all the best for the gruelling challenge that lies ahead.

“More importantly, though, given that some of Overstrand’s youthful community members often find themselves rather “rudderless” when it comes to navigating life, the example you as competitors set in terms of serving and protecting not only your country but the community at large is much appreciated.

“My wish is that you will continue to impart the principles of good citizenship on the demanding stretch that lies ahead despite the hardships and, perhaps, difficult and unpleasant circumstances you might encounter along the way,” he said.

According to the race tradition, the mayor of each town on the race route writes a letter of goodwill to the mayor of the next town. In keeping with tradition, Mayor Dudley Coetzee received a letter of goodwill from the Mayor of Agulhas and handed over Overstrand’s letter to exercise commander Lieutenant Phitlho who will deliver it to the mayor of the next town.

• The Saldanha Military Academy houses the Faculty of Military Science of Stellenbosch University - This is where junior officers of the South African National Defence Force receive their professional military education before continuing with their military careers.

It is tradition that the mayor of each town writes a letter of goodwill to the mayor of the next town. In keeping with tradition, Mayor Dudley Coetzee received a letter of goodwill from the Mayor of Agulhas. Trans Enduro Exercise Commander Lt Phitlho was pictured with him.

Pictured here are Trans Enduro Exercise Commander Lt Phitlho, Mayor Dudley Coetzee, Acting Senior Manager Anver Wyngaard, Capt Wiliams of Hermanus Police, Military Academy Chaplan Herbst, Retired Chaplan Kotze and Cllr Arnie Africa with the sea team.

Mayor Coetzee set the participants off on the last leg of their journey to Cape Town and wished them well. He is flanked by Trans Enduro Exercise leader Major Beverly Geldenhuys and Capt Williams of Hermanus Police.