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DUT’s Professor Suren Singh raises over R20 000 for Covid-19 Solidarity Fund

DUT’s Professor Suren Singh raises over R20 000 for Covid-19 Solidarity Fund

THE Durban University of Technology (DUT) Executive Dean: Applied Sciences, Professor Suren Singh has raised over R20 000 to donate to the university’s Covid-19 Solidarity Fund.

Prof Singh raised this money at the comfort of his home after taking part in a simulated Maluti Double 90 Cycling Race this past Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 7am.

The race took place online where Singh competed with 40 other racers.

“The initial plan was 180km and I pushed on to complete 200km which I completed in 7h:07min with 2103m of climbing. It was indeed an epic experience with more a test of mental barriers being shattered on this monumental journey,” said Singh.

He said he used a Smart Trainer, a Wahoo Kickr Core, in his TV lounge and raised funds for DUT’s Covid-19 Solidarity Fund, with a pledge of R1/km.

He further stated that he was pleased with raising more than R20 000 even though he started planning a day before the race.

IMG-20200422-WA0031“Cycling indoors is a different experience with greater difficulty than riding outside. Family, friends and work colleagues have been forthcoming in their contributions to support this initiative which is greatly appreciated,” said Singh.

This fundraiser came two days after the Vice-Chancellor of DUT, Prof Thandwa Mthembu declared the establishment of DUT’s Covid-19 Solidarity Fund, where the executives pledged to make contributions to the fund from their salaries over the next three months.

The fund was established to answer the call made by President Cyril Ramaphosa, for people to raise money to fight Covid-19.

Singh who graduated with a PhD at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville campus over 20 years ago has been a Professor in Biotechnology at DUT since 2002. He served as Head of Department of Biotechnology & Food Technology for 10 years before becoming the Executive Dean of Applied Sciences in 2014 to date.

Prof Singh said he has always been active in athletics since secondary school having achieved his colours in athletics for several years and then became involved with road running. He graduated to marathons and ran the Comrades Marathon in 2002 in just over 10 hours.

” I then shifted my focus to cycling in 2004. I completed several national races as a member of Kings Park Cycling Club. This includes 13 Cape Town Cycle Tours; 11 Amashovas; 10 Tour Durban; three 94.7, all around the 3 h mark, and two Maluti Double 90 – a 12 member team race event, ” said Singh.

Prof Singh said he follows a strict training regime using the online platform ZWIFT and Training Peaks and currently covers over 300 km per week on his bike in training. In 2019 he covered 13 721 km in training alone and races with a full-on carbon racing Specialized Venge bike valued at more than the average car.

Pictured: The Durban University of Technology, Executive Dean of Applied Sciences, Professor Suren Singh raised R20 000 in the comfort of his home for the university’s Covid-19 Solidarity Fund.

Pictures Supplied by Prof Singh

Simangele Zuma

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