Following a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the LifeCycle (Malta) Foundation will hold the 22nd edition of the Nescafé LifeCycle Challenge 2022 between 31 October and 14 November in Argentina and Chile. This will be the first time that the challenge will take place in South America.
During this gruelling challenge, 25 cyclists will complete an epic 2,000-kilometre bicycle ride from Argentina’s capital Buenos Aries to Santiago in Chile in a bid to raise funds for kidney disease research and renal disease patients. Chile will be the 50th country in which cyclists from the Nescafé LifeCycle Challenge will be venturing since the challenge started more than 20 years ago.
The South American challenge was originally planned for 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic.
Details of the challenge were announced during a press conference at Hilltop Gardens by representatives of the LifeCycle (Malta) Foundation and Nescafé, the main supporter of the LifeCycle challenge, together with the Head of the Nephrology and General Medicine Division at Mater Dei Hospital, Professor Emanuel Farrugia and the Minister for Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation, Hon. Clifton Grima.
LifeCycle (Malta) founder Alan Curry stated that this challenge is being held for the 22nd time and, despite the significant challenges of the last years, the foundation is keen to pursue this ambitious objective in South America this year. He said the average daily distances will be between 160 to 200 kilometres over a period of ten days. The cyclists will be climbing up to an elevation of about 3,500 metres in the Andes, the highest any challenge has achieved thus far.
“The cyclists will be combining intensive indoor bike training to simulate the long mountainous climbs over the Andes, as well as the usual long endurance miles here in Malta,” said Mr Curry.
He said that the 25 participants will be commencing their intense training build up on 11 July.
Mr Curry thanked all the cyclists as well as other support team members who will make this feat possible. In particular, he thanked the sponsors of the event, especially the title sponsor, Nescafé.
Charlene Ellul, Corporate Communications Manager for Nestlé Malta Ltd, said: ‘’For the fourth year running, we are proud to continue and renew our sponsorship for this year’s Nescafé Lifecycle Challenge as we partner up to support the work the Lifecycle (Malta) Foundation does with renal patients and their families. Whilst complementing the gruelling training programme and commitment the cyclists put themselves through to prepare for the challenge, raise funds and drive awareness – Nestlé considers this challenge as one of the initiatives we will be sponsoring and supporting to show our commitment to the wellbeing of the local community. This initiative aligns perfectly with our company’s healthy lifestyle objectives.”
Professor Farrugia noted that: “The burden of chronic kidney disease is increasing worldwide and in Malta this affects approximately 10 percent of the population. Moreover, the COVID -19 pandemic has disproportionately affected our dialysis and kidney transplant patients. LifeCycle (Malta) continues to provide our patients with practical, emotional and financial help and truly make a real difference to our people living with chronic kidney disease.”
Minister for Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation Clifton Grima praised the continuous and noble support given by LifeCycle Challenge members not only financially but also the support given to renal patients and their families. “It is notable that this act of altruism by the LifeCycle (Malta) Foundation is not only helping these patients and their families materially but is also resulting in an improved quality of life for those concerned. I commend this annual major event, applaud all those who are part of it both directly and also indirectly, and wish all another success for this year’s event in Argentina and Chile,” said Minister Grima.
Earlier this year, the LifeCycle (Malta) Foundation held an indoor cycling challenge on the occasion of World Kidney Day to raise awareness on the LifeCycle challenge and the LifeWalk challenge, another annual initiative aimed at raising funds for kidney-related research. Despite the difficulties the pandemic brought about, the Nescafé LifeWalk Challenge 2021 was held and 33 participants trekked Hadrian’s Wall in the UK.
Donations to the LifeCycle (Malta) Foundation can be made via Revolut on 9932 9101, by PayPal on this link: https://buff.ly/35g17CC and via SMS: 5061 7370 for €2.33; 5061 8920 for €6.99; 5061 9229 for €11.65; or via a call to 5160 2020 for €10; 5170 2005 for €15; and 5180 2006 for €25.
Donations can be made also via bank transfers via Swift code VALLMTMT, IBAN MT 18 VALL 22013000000014814521017, with the Bank name being Bank of Valletta, and account number 14814521017.