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Coach Profile: Siyabonga Njiva

Formerly a professional rider for the Kargo Pro MTB Team, Siya has a wealth of racing experience. He has completed the gruelling Absa Cape Epic three times (2011, 2012, 2013), not to mention the Sani2C and a host of other marathons. As head coach of the GO!Durban Cycle Academy, Siya is able to transfer his knowledge and skills to the other coaches, as well as the young athletes.

“I have learnt a lot from working with Shaun (Peschl),” explains Siya. “He taught me how to wake up early and train every day before work.”

Siya oversees the general operations of the bike programme, ensuring that the bikes are functioning optimally and that there are sufficient spares for repairs, and supporting the coaches at each GO!Durban Cycle Academy bike park.

Coach Siya in the middle with Primary School riders at the KZN Spur Schools MTB League

One of Siya’s big dreams for the future is to have our riders experience the Absa Cape Epic and someday win the Exxaro Development Jersey.

“I am very proud of our riders who are performing well at the races and even being selected to ride for KZN,” says Siya. “I am also especially proud of the girls who have started competing this year and winning races. They are great role models for the rest of the kids in their communities who can follow their example and also learn to ride a bike. It is exciting to have new female riders joining the academy and seeing their improvement every week.”

However, despite the great results on the bike, the most important thing for Siya is creating a safe haven for the kids in the community at the GO!Durban Cycle Academy.

“The academy is keeping the kids off the street and giving them a place to go that is like home; where they can be themselves and have access to opportunities.”

“My advice to the kids is to listen to their coaches when they offer advice, to learn from their own mistakes, ask questions and keep moving forward!”

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