Club mentors young riders

2015-10-13 06:00
Hout Bay Cycling Club members with their new kit sponsored by a local company.

Hout Bay Cycling Club members with their new kit sponsored by a local company.

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The Hout Bay Cycling Club has received new, much-needed cycling kit.

The kit was donated by EvoTec Plastics, a South African company specialising in the production of precision plastic parts and components.

Iain McIntosh, club chairperson, says the timing of the donation couldn’t be more perfect, as they are entering a new road cycling season with a number of newer members.

“The committee I represent and our young riders have been very much looking forward to the arrival of the new kit. We hope this will mark a thriving new partnership between us and EvoTec Plastics. We greatly appreciate their contribution.”

Managed by a volunteer committee of five experienced cyclists, the club uses cycling to expose young riders to life outside their often difficult living circumstances.

The young riders are drawn from the Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg communities.

They are fitted with road bikes and cycling kits, then get taken on three training rides per week.

The club also enters them in road cycling races and fun rides on a regular basis; it has seen a number of them grow into very strong cyclists over the years.

In addition to ongoing mentoring offered by individual committee members, the club also employs specialists to offer coaching to the riders.

Many of them come from single-parent families, often with abject poverty and difficult living conditions at home. They therefore often lack the necessary educational and social mentoring required to enable them to lead balanced lives while competing on an equal level with their peers at school.

Gernot Liebentritt, managing director of the company which donated the kit, has praised the club for the work done with the young riders.

“In these days when so much more remains to be done in order to give hope to young South Africans, it always touches my heart to see people volunteering their time and, in many cases, personal resources to make a difference in the lives of others,” he says.

Liebentritt further says they all know how “tough life often is in many townships, especially in Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg which are located in such close proximity to Hout Bay opulence”.

“As a cyclist myself, I saw the club as a natural recipient and potential social development partner for EvoTec. This is the beginning of a journey that I am sure will enable us to watch these young riders grow into stronger cyclists and better citizens of our country,” he says

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