Bookmark : https://www.songo.info/news-and-stories/a-tribute-to-burry-stander-from-songo.info/?id=24&entryId=115
Skip to : [Content] [Navigation]

Back to Latest News

A Tribute to Burry Stander from songo.info

14 Jan 2013

It was with great shock and huge sadness that we received the news late on Thursday, 3 January 2013, that Burry Stander had been killed in an accident involving a taxi while he was riding his bike home on the KwaZulu Natal coast.

As the news slowly started to spread across South Africa, shock and utter disbelief ricocheted through the songo program; a great hero and role model, someone so close and so special to us was lost.

The information received seemed completely unlikely and impossible. Is it really true, a number of the kids asked? How can someone so exceptional with so much potential, destined for greatness, with an incredible wife and loving family, leave our world so suddenly, so abruptly?

It still seems so wrong.

At songo.info we have had the privilege of sharing some very special moments with Burry and these memories will forever remain close to us. From Christoph Sauser's inception of songo.info through to Burry being the first South African to win the Absa Cape Epic in 2010. We were there in Jonkershoek when he won the African Continental championship title and religiously watched World Cup races and World Championship events around the world with the songo team squashed into the songo.info office glued to the computer screen, shouting support for Christoph and Burry.

Burry was a great icon and role model for the songo boys showing our guys what can be achieved not just on the track but off the track too from a business perspective, a relationship perspective, a family perspective, a public perspective and a social contribution perspective. For a young man he had broad shoulders, a wise mind and a big heart. He was really stepping into his power in a big way.

Songo Fipaza has great respect and admiration for Burry. The thing is we all did. We were continuously impressed how together and focused this young man was with a great mind for not only conquering trails but also in business. He made powerful contributions to songo, always coming up with these great ideas for the program and generously donating many special momentos so we could raise much needed funds.

Burry was the crux in the formation of songo.info, in the creation of Christoph's charity ambitions and fulfilling Songo Fipaza's dream to bring about change and create opportunities for the children of Kayamandi. Christoph, having spotted the exceptional and budding talent of Burry, wanted to ride the 2008 Absa Cape Epic with him however they faced a dilemma as at that time Burry was sponsored by GT and Christoph by Specialized. According to Cape Epic regulations, all pro riders have to ride in matching kit and with two riders and juxtaposed sponsors, this presented a great challenge.

A fortuitous introduction from Erica Green, meant Songo Fipaza could share his dream for Kayamandi with Christoph Sauser, who at that stage was looking to start a charity, and which would mean Burry and Christoph could ride for the charity. Before long the match was made and the 2008 Absa Cape Epic team of Christoph Sauser and Burry Stander was called songo.info Cycle for Kayamandi and focused on getting supporters to buy a kilometer to help build a BMX track in Kayamandi.

Unfortunately Burry fell ill and was unable to complete the race; however we got to see our first glimpse of South Africa's Burry Stander teaming up with one of the greatest mountain bikers in world, holding his own and showing just what this very young man was made of.

Not long afterwards a BMX track was built in Kayamandi and young children from Kayamandi took to BMX and mountain bikes for the first time ever, embarking on their journey to changing their lives and achieving their own success with Burry and Christoph as their mentors.

From there songo grew from strength to strength, flourishing in the support from Christoph, Burry, and Specialized who had now snapped up this great talent. Cycle for Kayamandi became just songo.info with dreams bigger and wider than Kayamandi and sponsorship of this duo in the Absa Cape Epic became the cornerstone of songo.info fundraising.

In 2009 the formidable team came close to snapping up the Absa Cape Epic title; however a small waterbottle incident with Burry and a resultant buckled wheel saw the team get an hour penalty. They finished 6th overall. 2010 brought them closer to the overall podium, finishing 2nd overall, only 10 mins behind the reigning champs, the Bulls team of Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm. Finally in 2011 all the glitches and teething problems were ironed out, school fees paid and the two riders sailed their way through to winning the Absa Cape Epic. No one will forget the delight and excitement of Burry's mum at the finish line or his dad who eagerly followed the last stages. It was huge excitement for South Africa and most especially the songo boys who were there to welcome their champion’s home.

This last year the incredible duo brought home the victory once again and all, including masses of South African fans as well as the songo.info boys were proudly there supporting the exceptional local talent and this incredible team. Burry was on fire and we could all see it! We were so looking  forward to cheering them on again this year and seeing Burry flourish in continued success.

There is no doubt, songo.info will never be the same again. Burry's legacy will forever be ingrained in us. The Cape Epic will bring heartache as we remember the journey to achieving such great success not only for songo but for this great South African champ. It was their journey and it was our journey. It will always be a tribute to Burry and the incredible opportunities he brought to songo.

In Christoph's words... "I still can hardly believe that I will never see Burry anymore! I have some very sad days behind me and it is still like I am on a roller coaster, up and down. Our pain is so relative to the fact Burry lost his own and only life. He will be forever in my thoughts! I cannot wait to race my heart out for him!"

Burry is a hero at songo. His legacy will last forever with us.

To Burry...

We are so honoured and privileged to have shared such special times in your short life. We are so grateful for your contributions to songo and for being such an exceptional role model showing just what can be achieved by any South African, by anyone with focus and determination. We so appreciate your kindness, compassion and generosity. You will forever be in our hearts.

We have created this small memory momento for you:  http://vimeo.com/57353676

With love from Christoph, Songo and all of those lives you have touched at songo.info