TEN-TIME world mountain bike (MTB) champion and SoldiarMed ambassador, Nino Schurter, is in Lesotho.
Schurter arrived in the country this week and is expected to visit SoldiarMed mobile clinics in Mokhotlong as part of his ambassadorial work.
SoldiarMed is a Swiss non- profit organisation, which creates awareness on the health needs of people in rural Africa to improve their healthcare.
SoldiarMed communication and media officer, Pierina Maibach, confirmed the visit to the Lesotho Times this week.
She said Schurter would visit the SoldiarMed mobile clinics and accompany the organisations’ team on his bicycle in Mokhotlong’s remote areas.
“To raise awareness around SoldiarMed and the health needs of people in rural Africa, the organisation works with goodwill ambassadors,” Maibach said.
“One of those ambassadors is mountain bike world champion, Nino Schurter. He will travel to Lesotho to visit the mobile clinic and accompany the team on his bike to remote places in Mokhotlong to learn about how important this project is and how it makes a difference to the health of the people living there.”
She said Schurter would travel together with the mobile clinic teams starting today till Saturday.
According to Maibach, SolidarMed improves health care for 2, 5 million people in Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
“We target and strengthen existing medical facilities by training and developing local health staff. Our projects are developed in close cooperation with local partners such as hospitals, health centres and the authorities, accompanied by our health experts on site,” she said.
Lesotho national cycling team coach, Mark West, said it was a great privilege to have a rider of Schurter’s status in the country.
He said local rider will have a chance to meet with the champion in the hope that they would be inspired by his success.
“We are planning to welcome him at the airport upon his arrival with our local riders. It is definitely a great privilege to have such person visiting and we are hoping that all our riders will be inspired, particularly the young riders,” West said.
Schurter races for the Scott-Sram-MTB racing team and he is the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games gold medallist. He also won a silver medal at 2012 London Olympic Games and a bronze in 2008 when the games were held in Beijing.