With a keen interest in sports, Chief Stewardess Carla Annas of a 65-meter motor yacht had only ever dreamed of completing an Ironman race. But after starting to cycle more last year, she realized there was nothing stopping her from making that dream a reality.
Although she’s only completed one unofficial race, she enjoyed it so much that she knew she wanted to do more but she wanted her training and racing to mean more than just a sense of accomplishment for herself.
“I decided then that I would combine my passion for sport with a fundraiser and ensure that this way, the wider community could benefit as well,” she says.
On November 27, she will do an Ironman 70.3 race — a 1.9-kilometer swim, 90.1-kilometer bike ride, and a 21.1-kilometer run — in hopes of raising R500,000.00 for a full primary school scholarship to the Stellenbosch Waldorf School in South Africa.
Through the Community in Action (CIA) movement that she founded, which supports education in South Africa through sport, Annas created the fundraiser for the CIA scholarship for a student from an underprivileged background to receive a seven-year primary school education. The movement will continue to support education after the race, and she will work with the school to select a student who matches her criteria.
Annas and her older sister attended the school, which was founded by a group of parents, including her own. She remembers her time there fondly and wishes all children could experience the education she had, which is why she decided to choose the Stellenbosch Waldorf School for the CIA scholarship.
“My time at this school developed my love for learning and there was never a day when I did not want to go to school,” she says. “The education I received there is a large part of who I am today, as the Waldorf education develops not only the intellectual aspect of a child, but also their physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. Education is about the journey, not only the outcome.”
Initially, she planned to do her first race in April 2022 and started training in November 2021. However, Annas got COVID-19 in January and was then diagnosed with long COVID and was not allowed to race. She shifted her focus to a race in June in South Africa, but about 10 days before, it was postponed because of severe storm damage to the area.
The 3:3 rotational chief stew decided not to let her training go to waste, and with the help of her sister, she organized her own race that she completed alone on the original race date of June 5. Now, Annas is back to work on board and training as much as she can for the November race.
“So far, I have managed to balance working and training by ensuring that even with guests on, I use my breaks to train, or train after work, no matter how late it is,” she says. “It comes down to time management, dedication, and my commitment to my fundraiser.”
To help Annas achieve her goal of raising funds for the scholarship, visit: https://www.quicket.co.za/fundraisers/185000-cia-community-in-action/