This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

082 896 6864

 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Articles

KZN CYCLING DEVELOPMENT 

  • Introduction

Things have started change in the cycling landscape here in KZN, and here is some info on what is now going on.

Hopefully you find this of interest.

For many years now, Pietermaritzburg and the province of Kwazulu – Natal has been recognised worldwide as a leader in the staging of major cycling events and since 2009, Pietermaritzburg has been recognised as Africa’s Bike City. In fact, the region is now recognised worldwide as having staged the most varied international events in history - a great accolade for the city and the region. After staging 10 x UCI World Cups, 6 x UCI World Championships and 3 x Continental Championships in various disciplines as well as a host of other major international road cycling events, it was decided that the focus of activities should switch to development programmes and the unearthing of new talent from the region of KZN for the future. Thus the KZN Cycling Development programme came into being and is being undertaken in conjunction with the KZN Department of Sport & Recreation who provide the vast bulk of the funding that allows for such activities to take place and also with Cycling South Africa.

Under the auspices of KZN Cycling, this development programme has been going on since April 2017 and is already yielding some fantastic results. We now have seven full time development officers contracted to the programme together with support staff in the form of drivers, an administrator, a media person and a full time mechanic as well as a logistics manager and training manager. We are also looking to expand the group and there will be a few more development officers joining up in the near future once they have been trained up and are deemed ready. The most significant change to the plans is the fact that the programme is being undertaken in all eleven districts throughout KZN – a massive undertaking but one that is being tackled with fervour.

Here’s a bit more about what’s been going on….

  • What, why, where, how, who and all the other things

There are a variety of core aims and ideals allied to the programme that we continually strive to achieve, amongst which are introducing kids to the sport and getting them to ride a bike more regularly, putting programmes in place that allow us to identify talented riders so that they can be fed into the KZN Cycling structures to start the upward competitive journey, upskilling people that want to be involved in the sport in all facets including officiating, coaching, mechanic training etc and then also ensuring that there is enough equipment and infrastructure out there for the sport to be practised on an ongoing basis.

Our development officers and support staff are tasked with running development programmes and clinics in all eleven districts in KZN, support the clubs and academies already in place and support the new District Cycling Hubs that we have established - of which there are nine. Hubs have as yet not been established in Ugu & Amajuba (but will be in the future), but the KZN Cycling Development officers run the activities in these district including all events and coaching clinics. Storage facilities have been arranged at each Hub and they have all been supplied with a large bike trailer as well as a minimum of 14 bikes with helmets and other supporting equipment such as first aid kits, water containers, cones etc.

Over and above the development bikes purchased, competition level bikes have also been purchased for MTB, BMX, Road & Track and these bikes are made available to kids from the districts that show promise and talent at the different provincial level events that they get taken to – it is not feasible for a youngster from uMkhanyakude as an example who is new to the sport to compete in a provincial series MTB event on a single speed Charger against riders who have been competing for years already on top of the line equipment.

  • Who’s at the sharp end…

Over the next while, we will be introducing you to all of the team members that are rolling out the project, and here is some info on a few of the people that are involved on a day to day basis.  

Phakamani Radebe – Development Officer

PK lives right next to the Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park and got involved in cycling around 2004 when Giba first opened and since then he’s never looked back. He enjoys cycling because it kept him away from the bad things happening around his neighbourhood when he was growing up and wants to be involved in this programme so as to get more kids onto bikes so they can have a healthy childhood and an opportunity to compete at the highest level in the various codes in cycling

 

 

John Cele – Mechanic

John is originally from the Port Shepstone area and he is in charge of the mechanical side of things for the project ensuring that all equipment is available at all times. He has attended UCI mechanics courses and is very excited to be able to share his knowledge with others. He has been riding and racing for years and started out in 2013 when he joined the team of the late legend, the Burry Stander Foundation team. It is his wish to see the young generation of today off the streets and doing what is good for them.

 

 

 

 

 Dumisani Ndzimakwe – Development Officer

Dumisani has been riding a bike since he was a school child and rode for exercise and always saw the bike as a better means of commuting than walking. He is based near Salt Rock in the Ilembe District and initially became involved with the Gxoba Isitibuli Academy and in 2017 created the Ushaka Rising Heroes Academy with the aim of working with local kids in the area and to instil a love of the bike to them. He wants to provide a healthy alternative to kids in the townships and to steer them away from getting involved in activities that will affect them physically and emotionally.

 

 

 

 

Tyrone Johns – Training Manager

TJ is a local boy from Kloof and got into cycling when he was 4 years old after getting a BMX bike for Christmas. 32 years later he is still in the industry having travelled the world riding a bicycle. On the way, he even picked up a UCI BMX Masters World Championships title a couple of years ago. For him, the benefit of the program is for the sport and not necessarily a specific discipline and the aim is to unite everyone and bring fresh new faces that have never otherwise had the opportunity to cycle into the fold with the understanding that the wider the talent pool, the more medals chances are created. TJ’s main focus in the programme is to ensure coaches, administrators, safety officers, event organisers, mechanics and race officials are trained up in each district so that they in turn can drive the sport in their regions on an ongoing basis.

 

 

  • What we’ve been doing so far…

The first priority of the programme has been to introduce the sport to young riders throughout the province and to achieve this, cycling clinics and development courses have been staged on a regular basis throughout KZN. The equipment provided to each hub is utilised for these activities and the KZN Cycling development officers, in conjunction with the relevant people in each district run these clinics. To date, over 140 clinics have been staged and more than 7000 youngsters have been on the programme. This is over and above the regular activities staged at various hubs throughout the province weekly and on an ongoing basis.

A whole series of events have been staged since April through each of the KZN Cycling Commissions including a variety of provincial and national MTB events, BMX race days and the Track Grand Prix. There have also been grassroots and inter – district race days staged, with the aim of these events is to bring together as many of the children that have been at the clinics so that they can race and put their skills learnt into practise as well as serving as talent identification opportunities so as to start supporting the riders to take part in other events.

A series of six track races and 12 road crit races has been designed and some of these race days have already taken place and these will continue into the new year.

The programme is well and truly up and running and going well. Some mistakes are being made and we are learning all the time and overcoming the challenges that are being thrown at us and we are obviously sometimes at the mercy of weather, but this is a programme that can and will work and will deliver great results going forward. It’s an exciting journey to be on and we will keep you updated on its progress.

The KZN Cycling Development Team 

GET IN TOUCH

KZN Mountain Bike Commission
PO Box 153, Merrivale, 3291
T 082 896 6864

F 033 387 6377

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Twitter @kznmtb

Facebook : www.facebook.com/KZNMTB

Scroll to top