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7

October

2019

Female Cyclist Nominated for KZN Sport Awards

13 year old Aphiwe Goge lit up the cycling field with her speed and technical ability this year. She has made her mark as a versatile rider who is able to excel in multiple disciplines, and this has earned her a nomination as a finalist for the Newcomer of the Year category at the 2019 Kwa-Zulu Natal Sport Awards.

Aphiwe Goge. Photo Credit TCMphotography

The award nomination is based on Aphiwe’s extraordinary performances on the bike between August 2018 – July 2019, including her first race win at the 2nd round of the KZN XCO Lap Challenge Series and a 4th place finish in her first national competition at the SA XCO Cup #5 in Pietermaritzburg (Sub-Junior Female). Her skills are not limited to the XCO circuit either. She competes in various MTB disciplines, including MTB marathon, Downhill, and Enduro.

Aphiwe is the youngest member of Velosolutions Izimbali, a women’s cycling team produced from riders of the GO!Durban Cycle Academy and specifically dedicated to the development of young black female cyclists as a #pumpforpeace initiative by Velosolutions.

Although she is not eligible to race in the Red Bull Pump Track World Championships due to her age (minimum criteria is 16 years), she travelled with the team to Roma, Lesotho in March this year and competed in the unofficial u16 race, placing 2nd behind a 15-year old local rider.

“I learned to cycle at 5 years old when my dad first introduced me to a bike. He motivated me to join the GO!Durban Cycle Academy in August 2017 as he could see the passion I have for cycling and he knew the bike park is safe and I would learn more,” Aphiwe explains of her cycling journey.

“I love cycling because it fulfils me and it is the one thing that completes me. When I’m on a bike I feel fearless, happy and powerful, like I can take over the world!”

Aphiwe is not only a talented cyclist, but she is also an inspiration to other young girls in her community, encouraging them to learn to cycle. “I think more girls must come and join GO! Durban Cycle Academy because we don’t only learn about cycling, but we also learn different values and they even help us with school work,” she concludes.

“We are incredibly proud of Aphiwe and her achievements which have led to this award nomination,” says Shaun Peschl, Programme Director of the GO!Durban Cycle Academy and Team Manager of Velosolutions Izimbali. “It is incredible for us to have one of our riders recognised at the top provincial level. We believe that she will continue to be a positive brand ambassador for the programme and we also look forward to more nominations for our young riders in the future!”

The KZN Sport Awards take place on Saturday, 12 October 2019.

 

Aphiwe Goge on course at the first round of the KZN XCO Lap Challenge Series. Photo Credit QuickPix.

Sub Junior Girls Podium at the 2019 KZN MTB XCO Champs. Photo Credit QuickPix


30

January

2019

Road Safety Musical Theatre Academy Brings Joy

The eThekwini Transport Authority has expanded its GO!Durban Cycle Academy service offering to now include an exciting new arts programme.

The Academy has partnered with the Young Performer’s Project (YPP) and is set to launch the very first “Road Safety Musical Theatre Academy”, in association with Durban Green Corridors. YPP is a non-profit organisation that trains talented high school performers in the art of musical theatre (dancing, singing and acting), and they will now be bringing the joy of arts and culture to the communities of Inanda, KwaMashu and KwaDabeka.

Auditions were held in January in each area and all kids aged 13 -19 were invited to showcase their budding talent. Out of 148 hopefuls, 70 participants were selected to join the program – 19 in Inanda, 21 in KwaMashu and 30 in KwaDabeka.

“We were absolutely blown away by what we saw at the auditions!” says Des Govender, Chairperson of the Young Performer’s Project . “We cannot wait to get started with the programme to develop these young gifted children into shining stars.”

The RSMTA programme will offer classes in acting, singing and dancing three days a week at the GO!Durban Cycle Academy Bike Park sites. The curriculum – which was specially written and composed for this project – will not only focus on the arts, but will use the medium of musical theatre to teach participants valuable life skills, such as the rules of the road, being a good neighbour and a responsible citizen, and environmental conservation. The academy will also stage two original productions in 2019 – written by Mthokozisi (Mtho) Zulu, Head of Drama and script writer for RSMTA.

Mtho was born and bred in Durban and graduated Cum Laude in Drama from the Durban University of Technology. His list of theatre and film work is extensive and he is currently working on set in Johannesburg, but is so passionate about this project that he will be travelling to KZN every Thursday to coach the drama class in KwaDabeka.

“Movement through the performing arts is another form of active mobility and we are thrilled to be adding the Road Safety Musical Theatre Academy to our CSI portfolio,” says Thami Manyathi, Head of the eThekwini Transport Authority. “We believe that the combination of sports and arts-and-culture will further benefit the local communities in our municipality and provide a platform for young talent to thrive.”


30

January

2019

Game-Changer for GO!Durban Cycle Academy Girls

In what is a massive boost for women’s cycling in KZN, Velosolutions has joined forces with Peschl Sports to empower an all-female team of young riders from the GO!Durban Cycle Academy called, “Velosolutions Izimbali”.

Izimbali means “flowers”, or “to blossom”, in Zulu. “As this is an all-female team, we wanted the name to reflect their femininity. We believe that the name is very apt as our hope for these girls is that they will blossom into well-rounded, self-confident women, both on and off the bike,” says Shaun Peschl of Peschl Sports and Programme Director for the GO!Durban Cycle Academy.

Previously in South Africa, there has been little to no support for African women in cycling and there has never been a team solely dedicated to the advancement of black female riders. Velosolutions and #pumpforpeace believes that is it important to address this gap in the sport by creating a platform where the potential of young African women can be unlocked. Not only is this beneficial for the empowerment of individual athletes and for the growth of cycling on the African continent, but it also has a knock-on effect in their local communities where they become role models for other girls to believe that they can achieve their dreams. Cycling is not seen as a “girl’s” sport in typical township communities, but these ladies are defying stereotypes and changing perceptions of what is possible with hard work, determination and the right team of support around you!

Similarly to Velosolutions, the GO!Durban Cycle Academy aims to promote a healthy and active lifestyle by encouraging cycling in communities, whether it be for recreation, competing or commuting.

This synergy came together with a bang in March 2018 when the first Velosolutions track in the province was built in KwaDabeka, and the track was the host venue of the South African qualifier event for the inaugural Red Bull Pump Track World Championships in April 2018.

“Velosolutions is active around the globe, but focuses on every town where we build a track as if it was our own,” explains Claudio Caluori, Managing Director of Velosolutions. “We are grateful for what we are able to achieve in these towns and we want to give back where we can. Durban is very close to our hearts, so it was the perfect opportunity for us to support this first black African women’s MTB team in South Africa with girls that have been developed through the GO!Durban Cycle Academy.”

Earlier this year, Peschl Sports identified the need to create an elevated team structure to fully grow the skills of the most promising riders of the GO!Durban Cycle Academy, and to give them insight and experience as to how a professional team operates. With his own background as a professional rider and manager of the Kargo-Pro MTB Team (2014-2016), Shaun Peschl is excited about partnering with another former professional rider (Claudio) and a brand that is as passionate about cycling development as he is.

“We are thrilled to have Velosolutions and #pumpforpeace on board for this journey. We have unearthed incredible talent through the GO!Durban Cycle Academy and we are eager to see what can be achieved with additional support from partners such as Velosolutions, who have extensive knowledge in the industry and a desire to see young cyclists thriving on the world stage.

Meet the Team

Ongezo Mini: Age 16

 

Nomfundo Mtshali: Age: 16

 

Nomfundo Mtshali: Age: 16

 

Aphiwe Goge: Age 12