Sel­borne pupil on a roll to save rhi­nos with own board game

Daily Dispatch - - Front Page - By DAVID MACGRE­GOR

A 10-YEAR-OLD East Lon­don school­boy has turned his love of rhi­nos into a board game, Rolling Rhi­nos, to try and save the crit­i­cally en­dan­gered species from extinction.

In­spired by Thandi, the Sun­shine Coast rhino that some­how sur­vived af­ter her horn was hacked off by poach­ers, Ri­ley De­van cre­ated the unique game as a way to pro­tect East­ern Cape rhino from be­ing wiped out.

The game is played by rolling a pair of rhino dice and points are scored depend­ing on how they land – on their feet, sides or back.

If they land on their feet, the name Thandi can be seen on the back and a player scores the high­est amount of points as she sur­vived de­spite her horn be­ing hacked off.

If the dice land on their sides, then the names of rhino that died in the East­ern Cape, ap­pear and the score is less.

The score from the dice moves a player around a board, and the win­ner is who­ever fin­ishes first.

The Sel­borne Pri­mary Grade 5 pupil said he de­cided to try and help raise funds for con­ser­va­tion af­ter his school par­tic­i­pated in the Root­ing for Rhino cam­paign that in­volved hun­dreds of school­child­ren across South Africa stand­ing and join­ing hands in a rhino for­ma­tion.

“I re­ally do love rhino and I will do any­thing I can to try and save them.”

Start­ing out sell­ing home­made treats at school sport derby days – which he billed “pop­corn to help pop the (rhino) pop­u­la­tion” and “cook­ies for a cause” – Ri­ley raised R500 for East­ern Cape-based Chipem­bere Rhino Foun­da­tion be­fore de­vis­ing a board game to gen­er­ate more funds.

Af­ter a few hours of brain­storm­ing with his par­ents, Rowan and Meg De­van, the young­ster came up with the game to raise money.

“My dad and I were hav­ing a chat one day about our favourite an­i­mals and I fig­ured out that both of us had the same an­i­mal at the top of our list – the rhino,” he ex­plained.

Ex­plain­ing how Ri­ley’s Rally for Rhino came about, the hard­work­ing young­ster said: “I be­gan to think about how sad it would be if rhi­nos were ex­tinct by the time I was old enough to have this con­ver­sa­tion with my own child, so we all de­cided to do what we could to help raise money for the great or­gan­i­sa­tions who work to save these crea­tures.”

He said his fundrais­ing ef­forts had re­ceived a lot of sup­port from Sel­borne Pri­mary, es­pe­cially from deputy

aware­ness

and head Abrie Pe­pler.

In­stead of get­ting a big com­pany out­side the prov­ince to make the bits for the game, Ri­ley and his par­ents opted to sup­port the lo­cal econ­omy.

Ri­ley’s mother, Meg, said they had de­cided to have the bags in which the two rhino dice and board game are stored, made out of sh­weshwe fab­ric by the Park­side-based non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion The Work­bench Group.

“This is our so­cial re­spon­si­bilty – men­tally and phys­i­cally dis­abled people make the bags and earn money for do­ing it. Even the la­bels are made with love.”

An or­der for 250 games was made and 100 have al­ready been sold to friends and people at the Beacon Bay mar­ket where Ri­ley has been man­ning a stall in re­cent weeks.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit Ri­ley’s Rally for Rhi­nos on Face­book. —

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