On 16 June 2018 the third annual Sports Trust Community Cycle Race, in partnership with Nedbank, will be taking place in De Doorns, Western Cape, with over 200 cyclists from the Sports Trust Development Cycling Programme competing in the 46 km and 15 km races.
Excitement ahead of the race is mounting in the grape-producing De Doorns community, which will be out in full force, to encourage the riders and enjoy the atmosphere and range of activities on the day. The Cape Winelands District Municipality has also come on board and sponsored six trophies, 400 medals and 400 sausage rolls.
The race and social events will be hosted by the De Doorns Development Cycling Club together with Orchards Primary School – one of 12 under-resourced schools participating in the Sports Trust Development Cycling Programme. The other schools, all high schools, are from across the Western Cape, notably the Cape Flats and the West Coast.
‘We are transporting development cyclists from all the other areas to De Doorns for the race and I can already feel the excitement and anticipation building up so that they can catch up and engage in good-natured rivalry and banter as to who is going to win on Youth Day,’ says Mike Tippett, Manager of Development Cycling for The Sports Trust.
Such is the camaraderie that has developed between the more than 200 development cyclists from the 12 schools participating in the three of four Sports Trust community cycle races hosted in Mitchells Plain and Piketberg each year. The races are endorsed by Cycling South Africa through the partnership between The Sports Trust and the Nedbank Sport Affinity. Detailed logistics are required for each race, including bringing in traffic officials, race officials, medical support and race marshals from the community.
The Sports Trust Community Cycle Races evolved out of the Development Cycling Programme, which started in 2005, with funding since then coming from the Nedbank Sport Affinity Programme. To date, in addition to helmets and cycling kit, over 1 200 bicycles have been donated to learners, and several of the schools have purchased additional bicycles as they recognise the value of the programme.
Male and female learners alike are encouraged to participate in the programme, races and events. The programme teaches learners the key principles of cycling, including road and safety skills and how to maintain their bicycles, and it helps them to enhance their education through sport.
‘This year we celebrate 13 years of the highly successful Development Cycling Programme, and three years of the community cycle races. It is so inspiring to know that all the cyclists are reconnecting with each other and looking forward to competing in their newly branded Nedbank Green cycling shirts,’ says Tobie Badenhorst, Head of Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing at Nedbank.
‘They are hardly recognisable from the shy, unsure young people who would stick to their own school groups just a few years back, and that‘s why it is such a winning programme.
‘Not only does it promote a healthy sport among youngsters who come from difficult, harsh environments, it also gives them purpose, focus, pleasure and an ambition to secure a place among the 20 cyclists in the Elite Development Cycling Squad who have come through the same ranks.
‘Several of these cyclists are now competing at a provincial level and climbing the ranks in major cycle races such as the Cape Town Cycle Tour (CTCT).’
Julie Appels is one of the development cyclists who has come through the programme and now manages the De Doorns Development Cycling Club. He says the programme opened up many doors for him and kept him away from drugs and violence, which are rife in this community. The community and children look up to him as a role model and they are proud of his achievement, which, he adds, has made him feel good about himself. He encourages the learners and his club members to train regularly and be passionate about cycling.
Elite Team member Eben Dearling from De Doorns, who now works for Nedbank in the region, is looking forward to the June 16 race as he is back in excellent form. Two years back he was injured by gangs in the area while doing his training on the local roads. ‘His arm was slashed with a panga and required numerous stiches. These are some of the pitfalls that our cyclists face while training for the events. Fortunately, Eben made a complete recovery and is cycling more competitively than ever,' says Tippett.
Julian van Wyk (13) from Orchards Primary School in De Doorns is the youngest member in the programme to compete in the CTCT this year. He received a new bicycle last year, and everyone was either smiling or in tears when he delivered his thank-you speech, saying how happy he was with his new bicycle, and emphasising that he would take care of it. ‘He is so keen on riding and is showing such potential,’ says Tippett.
Orchards Primary is fortunate to have educator Quinton Verrooi, who is a great motivator for the young riders. ‘Our school has several very keen male and female cyclists,’ says Verrooi. ‘Nedbank and The Sports Trust have done an incredible job with this programme and they are such a support to us. We are also putting in an effort from our side to try and raise some money to buy more bikes. In our community there are many negative influences, whereas cycling influences our young people so positively – and that is my passion.’
'The many benefits of cycling include developing discipline and commitment, and drawing young people away from the alcohol and drug abuse, crime and gang warfare that many are subjected to in their communities,’ adds Tippett.
‘The races encourage participation in the sport, they help us identify talent and they give the development cyclists short-term competition goals every six to eight weeks. And the beauty of these races is that community members get involved in a number of ways – from cycling to marshalling to catering or simply enjoying the day.’
You have to attend one of these races to appreciate the camaraderie, fun, competitive racing and incredible community support they create. People come out in full force and the cyclists are cheered on and encouraged all the way.
Other activities taking place on 16 June to celebrate Youth Day include:
· 5 km fun run/walk.
· Bike stunts and skills performed by Samin from Bangladesh – 30 minutes.
· Rieldansers from the farm Bo Vallei – 30 minutes.
· Bike raffle of two bikes sponsored by Ben Bikes (one BMX and one road bike).
· Face painting.
· Selling of hot chips and other snacks.
· Jumping castle – De Doorns Development Club.
· Soccer and netball.
· 69ers Motorbike Club display.
· Zumba dancing from SCORE.
Development Schools participating in the Youth Day Sport Trust Community Cycle Race in De Doors and in the 2018 Sports Trust Development Cycling Programme:
· Mitchells Plain: Beacon Hill Secondary, Oval North Secondary, Tafelsig Secondary
· Manenberg: Phoenix Secondary
· Hanover Park: Crystal High
· Khayelitsha: Matthew Goniwe Memorial High
· Kraaifontein: Scottsville Secondary
· West Coast: Diazville Secondary (Saldanha), Steynville Secondary (Piketberg)
· Boland: Orchard Primary (De Doorns) and De Doorns Development Cycling Club
About The Sports Trust
The Sports Trust is a registered section 21 company and public benefit organisation that operates as a non-profit organisation. It provides sporting kit and equipment, and develops sport and sports facilities in under-resourced communities in South Africa, and acts as an implementation partner for contributing corporates. Since its inception The Sports Trust has been a catalyst for meaningful change in sport and recreation throughout South Africa.
Nedbank is a founding trustee of The Sports Trust and provides support through its Nedbank Sport Affinity Programme. When you use any of the Sport Affinity accounts, Nedbank donates money to The Sports Trust for the funding of sport development, talent identification and transformation in under-resourced communities, which assists with talent identification and the transformation of sport.
For more details please contact: Carol Crawford, Marketing and Communications Manager at The Sports Trust on 082 802 2899 or Mike Tippett, Cycling Development Manager at The Sports Trust on 062 159 1011.