The annual Oudtshoorn Youth Festival, took place during the week of 3rd to 5th July and provided an opportunity for all riders under the age of 19 to take part against other riders in the country. The emphasis of this event is to focus on team and province rather than individual participation.
The festival showcases various cycling codes for young riders to get more exposure to the sport and what it has to offer, and creates platforms for the younger age groups to show and develop their potential outside of the SA National Championships. As the emphasis is on team and mass participation, all events were structured in such a way that points will be awarded to every participant.
The focus is more on bike skills and therefore the bunch track events were incorporated to allow the youth to develop their skills in a safe and secure environment while simultaneously providing them the opportunity to watch and learn from the more experienced participants, and of course more spectator friendly for parents. It also provides cross-pollination of events and exposure to different cycling environments.
The 3 day programme included: Road Race at the Highgate Circuit, Team Time Trails and Criterium, and then on the last day mountain bike 1500m and scratch and elimination races.
The Sports Trust manages the development cycling programme in the Western Cape and they had entered 15 riders into this year’s event. This programme is supported by Nedbank and the Western Cape Dept. of Cultural Affairs and Sport. This programme has been in existence for 12 years, and teaches the learners life skills, road skills, how to maintain their bikes, event preparation, and being responsible and disciplined, in order to take ownership and aspire to improve their current circumstances. It’s also about harnessing their leadership skills, having a balanced life-style and ultimately hoping to identify new talent into the sport of cycling.
After a challenging 3 days of team competitions, 15 of these cyclists were selected to be part of the WP Squad. They include: 5 riders from Metro Region, 1 from Winelands and 6 riders from West Coast.
Mike Tippett who manages this development cycling programme from The Sports Trust, said that he was “Very excited and proud, and thanked everyone for their continued support to ensure such excellent results”
The next Youth Festival is taking place in Piketberg during the first week of October and once again there will be more entries from the development cycling programme as they are preparing to select teams for the two events taking place in 2018, being the Africa Youth Festival in Algiers, and then the 2018 Youth Olympics which will be staged in Buenos Aires.
Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais said “Government relies on partners such as The Sports Trust, Nedbank and Cycling South Africa to facilitate opportunities for new cyclists to level the playing field. This community race and continued support and development of cycling in the Western Cape enjoy the support of key financial partners and stakeholders. We are indeed ‘better together’”.
WP Squad Selection:
These cyclists will be competing in the upcoming Youth Festival taking place in Piketberg in October.
Connor Luke Solomon U/13 PDI Cape Metro
WP Squad Selection:
Amvumile ShaXhego U/15 PDI Cape Metro
Tylon Jackson U/15 PDI Cape Metro
Asisipho Willy U/15 PDI Cape Metro
WP Squad Selection: (these cyclists have till end of July to withdraw if required)
Denver Neke U/17 PDI Winelands
AJ Blake Junior PDI West Coast
Vuyolweyhu Nkomo Junior PDI Cape Metro
Joshua Toontjies Junior PDI West Coast
Eduardo Engelbrech Junior PDI West Coast
Kyle Martin Junior PDI Cape Metro
Marciano Van Rooyen West Coast
Bramwill Van Wyk Winelands
Christiaan Verhoog Winelands
Chadwin Andrews Cape Metro
Justin Lee Februarie West Coast
Development Schools in the 2017 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), De Doorns Development Club