Minister Meyer Spreads Cycling Cheer on the West Coast
Cyclists on the West Coast are now pedalling together towards a safer and better future. On Saturday, 3 November 2012, the Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Dr Ivan Meyer, accompanied by local sport dignitaries and community members pedalled in a 45 km return cycle race from Vredenburg to Langebaan, and back. The 10km race also started at the West Coast Mall.
The race, hosted by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Saldanha Bay Municipality, West Coast Sport Council, West Coast Mall and other sport entities, created awareness for a healthy lifestyle and emphasised the safety of cyclists. It also served as a stepping stone to promote the sport code in this region where an interim West Coast Cycling Federation was established. Various stickers detailing cycling safety were attached on the back of vehicles and green reflective bibs were handed out to volunteers to create further awareness along the route.
Dr Ivan Meyer thanked the Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN) for their influential programme regarding the road safety of cyclists, and praised his fellow cyclists that participated in the event to kick-start the cycling movement on the West Coast. “Cycling improves lives. Therefore, we want to see the roads full of people on bicycles, on their way to work,” he said.
The Western Cape Government is committed to a healthy lifestyle and education. The Minister handed over sport equipment to schools in the region and bicycles to the interim cycling federation to boost sport development. He also paid tribute to Mr. Tony Roberts, who at 75, is a regular cyclist and also pedalled in today’s race. “He is truly a living example of our vision to see a province that is fit and enjoys a healthy lifestyle,” Dr Meyer said.
The race was a great experience for budding cyclists too. Cameron Paulse (9) from Saldanha Bay said that he enjoyed the 10km race because cycling keeps him fit. The event demonstrated the importance of doing sport for health reasons. It was great news for the community to hear that the event would now be hosted annually, with an athletics tournament also being planned for next year.
Mr Cornelius Malgas of the regional office said that the race gave the youth an opportunity to participate in a developing code. “To see the Minister pedalling along with the other cyclists was remarkable, as he leads by example. Hopefully this event can grow to greater heights as we strengthen our partnerships with the community and stakeholders,” he said.