Rewarding Young Cyclists in the Western Cape
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) partnered with Nedbank and The Sport Trust to reward young cyclists for helping to make the Western Cape a better province. On Saturday, 8 June 2013, development cyclists who did well at the recent 2013 Pick ‘n Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour received bicycles and cash prizes at a prize-giving ceremony in Cape Town.
The ceremony formed part of Nedbank and The Sport Trust Development Cycling Programme, which gives young cyclists access to cycling. The programme is in operation for eight years and has thus far invested over R2 million and distributed 650 bicycles to young cyclists. Thirteen schools across the country participated in the programme this year.
Eben Deerling from De Doorns Development Cycling Club was this year’s fastest male learner, while the fastest female learner was Marliena Richenberg of Lavender Hill. They each received R1 500, bicycle accessories and Burg watch phones. Deerling finished the race in 3 hours and 23 minutes, while Richenberg recorded a time of 5 hours and 12 minutes. The second fastest male and female categories each received a cash prize of R1 000 and those in third place received R500 each. The top 10 mountain bike cyclists who finished the race in less than four hours each received a new road bike.
Schools were also acknowledged for their learners' overall performance. Oval North High received R5 000 for being the overall road bike winners and Matthew Goniwe High received R5 000 for being the overall mountain bike winners. Scottsville High boasted the most improved rider of the year.
Commenting on the success of these cyclists, Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Dr Ivan Meyer, said that these talented young cyclists became members of an elite group when they successfully participated in the Argus. “With commitment and hard work they have repaid this partnership and investment in them. We are very proud of them,” he said.
Dr Meyer congratulated the programme on the positive impact their intervention has had on the lives of these cyclists. “This commitment to the future of our country and sport has not only led to the promotion of cycling as a sport, but has also supported the Western Cape Government’s campaign to promote the youth’s adoption of a healthy lifestyle and a greater awareness of our environment,” he added.
Anita Matthews of The Sport Trust congratulated the cyclists on their achievements. “I applaud all cyclists for their sterling performance at the Argus. This augurs well for their future, not only in sports, but also in their academic aspirations. As The Sport Trust, we strongly believe that sport plays a crucial role in the performance of young people at school, so we appreciate the support of Nedbank and the Western Cape Government,” she said.
DCAS looks forward to replicating these joint successes in the area of cycling development and consolidating their partnership with Nedbank, The Sport Trust and Cycling South Africa.