Media Release

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA RELEASE – for immediate release
updated 14 June 2013

Back on your Bike … Raising funds for injured SA Triathlete

South African Triathlete, Richard Holland (30) remains “locked-in”  with a traumatic brain injury after he was knocked off his bike whilst training on 11 October last year (2012).  Holland’s family have set up an independent Trust fund to raise funds for his recovery: Back On Your Bike. 

Whilst training for an Ironman Race, avid cyclist and triathlete Holland was hit from behind by a car and sustained multiple life-threatening injuries; both lungs were punctured, ribs were broken, right leg broken, sternum fractured and internal bleeding but the worst was a severe injury to his brain stem. In January 2013, Holland was repatriated from Dubai back to South Africa to continue his intensive neurological treatment. Now, months later, Holland remains “locked-in” unable to move or communicate at all. After a severe brain injury, particularly to the brain stem, which controls motor function, it is only possible to guess at the recovery time and the likely outcome. All that is certain is that recovery is a slow process and will take years .The family have set up a trust fund: “Back On Your Bike”, with the view to raising much needed funds through donations, fundraisers and events to give Holland the chance he deserves to make a full and complete recovery … maybe even one day get him back on his bike.

Rich & Back On Your Bike

Holland was an avid triathlete who proudly represented South Africa in the 2007 World Championships in Hungary. He has competed regularly in triathlons and duathlons around the world, from Thailand to Canada, Singapore to Johannesburg. He is a passionate individual who exudes energy into all that he does. From a large and loving family, Rich has relatives in South Africa, Australia and Canada. Rich is hugely popular, a passionate cook and a brilliant fisherman who loved living in Dubai! He encouraged others to do outdoor sports in the UAE, from cycling and 4x4ing in the desert and everything in between. Rich deserves the extensive medical attention required to allow for his young body and mind to make a full recovery.

BackOnYourBike fundraising Target

Holland is facing an extensive out-patient neuro treatment programme for the next few years. This means the future costs can only be estimated. This fundraising target has been based on a rough estimate from the first 6 weeks of treatment he has already received, the multiple surgeries he has already undergone (and has scheduled), physiotherapy (neuro and physical) and the projected amount of rehabilitation treatment he requires in future. This amount was validated by information available from the DANA Foundation ( that calculates the lifetime expense of a coma patient as between US$600,000 and US $1,875,000 = Upward of R15,000,000

Visit the Website and Get Involved

Please visit the website to find out how you can get involved.  From individual and corporate donations to fundraising, events and awareness activities, every little bit will help.  The website also provides more information on Rich, his accident and recovery. There is also a Facebook Page and Twitter feed for more information.

“The road to recovery will be the toughest challenge Rich has ever faced. But we all know him as a young man in the prime of his life, a fighter of fierce courage and steely determination. We believe that with all our love, care and support, we can get Rich ‘back on his bike’, to continue on his life’s journey!” says Judy Rothschild, Holland’s mother.


In order to ensure complete transparency and appropriate governance, Back On Your Bike will be managed as a registered Trust Fund in Richard’s home country of South Africa.

For more information / media enquiries/ or to set up interviews with the family please contact:

Pippa Holland (Richard’s sister)
+614 12 095965