Mncendisi Mkhize (Middle) with his aunt and uncle.
Mncendisi Mkhize produced stellar performances on the bike at this year’s KZN Spur Schools MTB League, which resulted in his selection to represent the province at the national finals in Gauteng on the 5th and 6th of October 2018.
On Tuesday night, he was awarded “Cyclist of the Year” for Northwood School in Durban North where he enrolled at the beginning of the third term on a scholarship from the GO!Durban Cycle Academy.
“I feel very happy to win this award, it means so much to me. I’m proud to be representing Northwood School and the GO!Durban Cycle Academy at the Spur Schools MTB League Inter-Schools Finals next week,” says Mncendisi.
Mncendisi says he wasn’t expecting to be selected this year because the competition during the season was much tougher than last year where he also qualified for the national finals. This is his first year competing in the Youth category (age 15 – 16), and he is both nervous and excited for the weekend of racing.
“I think I have an advantage now because I know what to expect at the finals. But I will have to stay focused and be mentally prepared for the challenge.”
Mncendisi will be joined by his GO!Durban Cycle Academy teammate Sanele Mkhunya from Bheki High School in Inanda. Sanele competes in the Sub-Junior boys category and this will be his first time racing in the national finals.
“It is very exciting for us to see Mncendisi continuing to excel in the sport, while also adjusting to his new school environment at Northwood,” says Shaun Peschl, Programme Director of the GO!Durban Cycle Academy. “We are also proud of Sanele’s selection to the Spur Schools MTB League National finals. This validates the success and sustainability of the GO!Durban Cycle Academy programme as we strive to give more riders the opportunity to be on the start line and to produce athletes who can compete at the highest level.”
Coach Siya Njiva will accompany the KZN contingent as a chaperone in the team support crew.
“Mncendisi is much stronger now than he was last year,” says Siya. “I’m excited for the finals, I think he’s going to do well and it’s a great opportunity for him to get more national racing experience. We are focusing on training for the next week to make sure he’s ready.”
After the school holidays, the focus will shift to his school work with the aim of successfully passing his Grade 8 exams in November.