Late last year we reported on the establishment of a cycling club at Ukhanyo Primary School. The project forms part of the MCC Masi 750 Club and project leader Vince van der Bijl recently provided the following update on progress.
The Pedal Power Association, the largest recreational cycling organisation in South Africa, has now trained 200 children and 10 teachers, who were awarded certificates for completing the BEN and PPA safe cycle course. The COOL KID ON A BIKE Ben and Pedal Power initiative has attracted great attention. Nceba Jonas and Teddy Nyali along with other school staff members attended the course, which ensured that they will become trainers themselves in 2018.
The training was donated by the Rotary Claremont. A course was laid out at the school and many learners were taught how to ride a bicycle for the first time. Remember that feeling!! Just awesome.
It was exciting and rewarding to see the enthusiasm for the sport and we look forward to 2018 to launch official this new sport.
We were also privileged to have Songezo Jim address the learners on the last day. Songezo is a legend in the SA cycling community and Masiphumelele. His academy is now based at Masicorp’s Chasmay Road Campus and his story was featured on our blog last year. Songezo moved to Masi as an orphan having lost both his parents by the age of 13. Having seen the SA Argus race for the first time he was determined to become a cyclist. He became a professional cyclist by 20 and has raced in the major tour events in Italy and Spain – only one of 10 SA riders who have done that.
He still rides professionally – and he runs his Cycle Academy in Masiphumelele supported by Quebeka, Ben Bikes, Cape Town Cycle Tour, Pedal Power and Rotary Claremont. This cluster of NGOs work tirelessly with Songezo to assist and inspire the youth of Masi. What a legend, Songezo is.
The learners were glued to their seats and never have we heard them this quiet! Songezo spoke of his life and his journey and was thanked by Nceba Jonas. It was the perfect ending to the sports week. The learners engaged with Songezo and could see what hard work and commitment can achieve
It was a cycling week that was!