A Capetonian man completed his 100th handstand in his personal 365 Handstand Challenge on top of Cape Town Stadium in Green Point yesterday.

Jeff Ayliffe, a radio sports presenter and owner of his own media company, decided to begin his 365 Handstand Challenge on January 3 2019. In a social media post, Aylifee says he needed to find a unique spot for his 100th handstand of the year.

“The rim of the beautiful CT stadium was on my mind. For months and months in the build up to FIFA2010 I watched the giant structure going up, beam by beam. And as a lover of out-there places, the rim has always been somewhere I’ve wanted to visit.”

Ayliffe was given a firm “No” when he asked stadium management if he could do a handstand on top of the iconic sports structure. However, through a friend, he managed to get permission from the management to walk up onto the clear glass on top of the stadium.

“Enter a friend Ryan O’Connor who put me in touch with the very top man, who confirmed my credibility with Ryan, and put me back in touch with stadium management… Stadium management, this time, were open to listen, and asked for images to see. And from there, with the head of safety and security, I was taken up where few have walked.”

Ayliffe says that gazing down at the pitch hundreds of feet below was an “indescribable moment”.

Ayliffe began to love performing handstands and doing gymnastics at the age of 6, training at the YMCA Gymnastics Club in Pietermaritzburg.

This moment began a love affair with handstands that has endured to this day. I have a passion for this act of balancing on one’s hands that is, even to me, hard to understand. I see places, and just know – “There is a handstand here”. And I’m drawn by a strange force. For the past 40 plus years, this has been with me, and I have continued to do handstands.”

He aims to complete as many handstands as possible in within 365 days in beautiful places around Cape Town.

Jeff Ayliffe at the age of 6 practicing a handstand, the first of many.

Ayliffe has documented each of his handstands across the city and says he made the 365-handstand goal to challenge himself.

“In short, its really about me giving myself the motivation to try an creatively challenge myself and find some cool spots to do new handstands.

Handstanding on the top of a building in the CBD.

Along the way he has faced various obstacles such as a minor shoulder injury, but this did not stop him as he has continued to stick with his challenge, handstanding in areas from Table Mountain, to Chapmans Peak Drive, to a building in the CBD and more.

Jeff Ayliffe performs a handstand on Table Mountain.

He has even completed hand stands in Caledon and Llandudno.

Handstanding on a boulder on the beach.

Pictures: Jeff Ayliffe, Facebook 

Article written by

Ishani Chetty

Ishani is a vegetarian who is passionate about animals, social issues, the environment and current affairs.