The 22 year old, who resides in northern Europe for part of the calendar year to test and practice, is currently using the winter off-season period to build up his condition for the fifteen-race world championship that starts on April 6th in Holland. While back in his native country Rattray was keen to support the local community and his visit to the Home some thirty minutes drive from his house in Durban was a highlight for the 80 kids that use the facility; many from that group remain on the grounds over Christmas as they have nowhere else to go.
“I was inspired by seeing that Oprah program “Christmas Kindness” to do something similar for his local community but on a much smaller scale,” he recounted. “I realized I was in a position whereby I could call upon sponsors and larger companies to contribute towards this kind of Christmas function. I am also very appreciative to other motocross riders and families for their kind contributions which went towards certain items that the home requires.”
Each child received a Christmas gift that involved some clothing and a toiletry pack full of goodies. “We also arranged for a restaurant to give the children lunch which consisted of hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and drinks! There was some entertainment with a clown doing a magic show and tricks with the kids. After the lunch and entertainment we played various games with the kids and they won different prizes we had organised,” he added.
Styla’s offering to the Home did not stop at Christmas gifts: “We were also able to raise some money and purchase some items that the home is in need of. We managed six ironing boards, six irons, two sets of 17-piece tea-set plus extra cups and saucers, an LG Hi-Fi system, and two tables. We still want to purchase additional chairs, kettles and a few other smaller things. The toys that were bought and donated included items like soccer balls, rugby balls, volleyball/badminton set, netballs, and cricket sets.”
Overall it was a very positive day. “I was really pleased to see that I made these children have an enjoyable day with lots of fun and laughter,” Rattray concluded. “I would like to thank all companies, family and friends that helped and contributed towards this event. I am often reminded where I come from and if I am in a position to help other kids out that are less fortunate than me then it’s all worth it. I am hoping to be able to do something at the end of each year whereby I can give back to my community.”
Rattray, who took seven podium results in 2007 before a knee injury halted his season in the Czech Republic, would like to give thanks to the following people and riders who kindly assisted his plans for the home: KTM Sport motorcycles, Alpinestars, Mr Price, Johnson and Johnson, Natal Wholesale Jewellers, ABI – Coca Cola, Bad Boy, N & L Wire, Charlie’s Croft Restaurant, Stefan Everts, David Philippaerts, Rui Goncalves, Marc de Reuver, Manuel Priem, Steve Ramon, Tanel Leok, Tommy Searle, Antonio Cairoli, Alessio Chiodi, Johnny V, Gef & Leona Cuylaerts, Joel Cuylaerts, Luc & Git Piccart.
In several months Rattray will be making his fourth bona fide challenge for the MX2 title that has eluded him since he finished runner-up in 2004.
More information on Tyla and his racing can be found at www.stylamx.com