The NZ cycling community is rallying around one of its own with a cycling auction in support of the Chilean communities affected by this week's devastating earthquake.
Wellington cycling event promoter Jorge Sandoval's home town of Tome, Chile is just 74km from the earthquake epi-centre, and the 2006 New Zealand Order of Merit recipient can't stand by and do nothing.
"The greater cycling community has rallied around Sandoval and has been quick to donate cycling kits and other products for an auction to be held in the coming days" said Grant Wall, auction organizer.
Gordon McCauley, the current NZ Time Trial champion and five times NZ Road Champion is donating a set of his National Champion kit.
"Jorge does a lot for cycling in New Zealand, so it's nice to be able to do something for him, and because it's a good cause," McCauley said.
Hayden Roulston has also donated to the auction; he's providing a team HTC Columbia kit. Subway Avanti Pro Cycling Team are donating as are various cyclists and cycling shops around the country.
Until this Thursday morning Jorge Sandoval still been unable to speak to his parents in Tome and he is determined to help is people.
"It is the worst moment of my 33 years in this wonderful country", Sandoval said. "To see my people suffering is painful and right now I just don't have any more strength to cry. I love my country and my people and this is just horrible to watch. Many people in NZ don't know or understand what real poverty is, I know, and to see the poorest people in my region lose all they have is so sad."
"Anything the people in NZ could do to help is very welcome, I am going to Chile on the 19th of this month and will take as much clothes as I can and will try to raise as much money as possible to help these poor people. When I get there, I will make sure that everyone knows where the help is coming from, from the people of NZ and especially the cycling community."
"Most of the villages around my home are fishing villages, the only thing they own is a boat to make a living and now the villages have been totally destroyed and their boats disappeared. The village of Dichato, only 10 minutes from my home was totally ripped apart from the tsunami and more than 600 people lost their homes, some of them friends or related to our family. So far 22 people are confirmed death and 18 still missing."
"This is so ironic, they love the sea, they live out of the sea and on Saturday at 3.20am the sea was their biggest enemy."
"As a Chilean living in this country I feel that I must do something and this is the only thing I can do. I am lucky that my family in Tome is ok and me and my brothers here in NZ are able to help and support them, other people are no so lucky and like most tragedies in any country around the world, the poor are the ones who suffers the most, there is a lot of poor people where I live."
"I just don't want to go back home and do nothing, the money that I collect will be delivered in the name of people of NZ to the Red Cross of my home town to help these in need. With my family we have also collected lots of clothes to take and give to people who lost everything."
The auction will be late next week on TradeMe, the time delay is to allow everyone to send in their donated items. A bank account has been set up by Grant Wall for direct donations please donate to;
Name of account: NZ cyclists supporting Chile
For more information please contact Grant Wall 0210343028
Photos of Dichato here
Confirmed auction items
- 2009 NZ Road Champion kit - Gordon McCauley
- Team Columbia HTC kit - Hayden Roulston
- Yellow jerseys from the Trust House Cycle Classic and NZCT Women's Tour
- KOM jerseys from the NZCT Women's tour and Trust House Cycle Classic
- 2009 Colavita/Sutter Home kit from the USA - Cath Cheatley
- 2009 Trek-LiveSTRONG team kit - Sam Bewley
- Subway Avanti Pro Cycling kit - courtesy the team
- Benchmark Homes team kit - courtesy the team
- Bici Vida team kit - courtesy the team
- Mico / All About Plumbing team kit - courtesy the team
- Various Tour of Wellington jerseys - Mark Langlands
- PFC Race Team Kit - Penny Farthing Cycles
- Green Jersey 2010 Trust House Cycle Classic - Harry Wall
- More items will be announced in the coming days