Sunday’s Illovo Eston MTB Challenge, one of the province’s stand-out mountain biking events on the calendar and which many cyclists flock to annually, also serves as a key fund raiser for the Beaumont Eston Farmers’ Club – the region’s principle sporting, social and business hub.
Funds generated by the mountain biking event each year are put towards the development of the club’s facilities as well as the Eston Primary School.
“The Eston Club is the core of our community,” explains Race Director, Ant Foster. “It is the hub around which a lot of our community’s sporting, business and social interests operate, so the Illovo Eston MTB Challenge has a huge impact on not only the Club itself, but the community as a whole.”
“Each year we look forward to being able to put the funds every year raised through the Illovo Eston MTB Challenge towards various initiatives, which help hugely in bringing the whole community closer together,” he adds.
Previous projects supported by the event’s profits include the establishment of the Primary School’s computer room and installation of smart boards while more recently, an astro turf has been laid at the Club.
“Funds have accumulated and were recently put towards a second hand, three-quarters size astro turf on the old tennis courts.
“We’re now able to use the astro to hold clinics for the whole community as well as mini-hockey matches for the school kids while a social league is also about to start.
“The astro has become another hub of sporting activity at the club and has been another great initiative for the Eston Club.”
Through its cricket, squash, shooting, hockey, canoe, tennis, cycling and touch-rugby codes, the Club’s members all rally together both before and during race day, each code contributing to a different aspect of the event’s success.
The home of kettlebell and boot camp classes, host of major local events such as the annual Eston Show, as well as used for weddings, conferences and other functions, the versatile venue remains the heartbeat of the Eston community.