GO!Durban Cycle Academy launched

2016-02-23 06:00
Photo: supplied Durban Green Corridor eNanda adventure park cyclists.

Photo: supplied Durban Green Corridor eNanda adventure park cyclists.

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IN an unprecedented move to support the growing need for increased mobility, connectivity and dignity for all citizens in the metropole, the eThekwini Municipality recently launched the GO!Durban Cycle Academy in a public-private partnership with the Kargo PRO Cycling Team with support from the City’s Durban Green Corridor.

The inaugural intake of young cyclists from the eNanda area, where the first site for the Academy at eNanda Adventure Park is being developed, were introduced as well as the 2016 Kargo PRO Cycling Team: its riders, coaches, mentors and managers who have designed and will implement the Academy’s development strategy and operational programme to be used as the template for seven other sites around the city.

The GO!Durban Cycle Academy provides an environment for local cycling training which also aims to bring young people together to meet, play and engage with each other using the sport of cycling as the common focus, whether it be for recreational, commuting or sporting purposes.

The academy, which will focus on individual growth, is linked as an official feeder for professional cycling teams like the Kargo PRO Cycling Team, and provides a developmental opportunity for potential cycling talent.

The programme planned for academy members will include requisite athletic training, but will also include important life skills, mechanical and technical training.

Training will take place after school and the young athletes will be required to complete their homework at the academy site as well as ensure their equipment and cycling kit is clean and maintained at all times.

The Durban Green Corridor has identified locations that have potential as academy sites and eight are confirmed - KwaMashu, KwaDabeka, eNanda, Cornubia, South Beach, Glenwood, Umlazi and Amanzimtoti.

In partnering with the Durban Green Corridor, GO!Durban is able to reach local communities throughout eThekwini in a practical and sustainable way to promote recreational and commuter cycling for a healthy lifestyle and to reduce the transport related carbon footprint of the eThekwini population.

The GO!Durban Cycle Academy forms the foundation for the creation of a robust cycling culture, as the City forges ahead with its planned GO!Durban integrated rapid public transport network. Intrinsically linked to this is the provision of walkways, pedestrian bridges and cycling lanes primarily as a means to provide access to public transport.

“To this end a number of green environments will be re-configured for the homing of academy facilities and riders. To fullfil that original promise and to fully realise the goal, the city takes sustainability, and importantly, takes the creation of a better life for all very seriously,” said mayor of eThekwini James Nxumalo.

“One of the important cogs towards building a successful non-motorised network, is having it adopted and used. As we do not have a rigorous culture of cycling, the GO!Durban Cycle Academy development programme speaks directly to addressing this obvious gap.

“And that is why through our Ride for Life programme, eight such spaces are being created to home the cycle academy in a variety of communities to encourage people to cycle.”

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