Children polish their pedals for Mini Shova

2014-10-10 00:00

SCORES of cyclists, between the ages of five and eight, are polishing their pedals for the Tsogo Sun Mini Shova, set to be revived tomorrow, after years.

The race, which is a part of the Tsogo Sun Amashova, KwaZulu-Natal’s biggest cycling event, will see children riding from Snell Parade to Sunkist Beach outside Suncoast, on the Durban Beachfront.

The kids’ edition of the cycle event took a break for a number of years due to the event being moved and the route being unsafe for children.

Race director Annie Batchelder said the turnout for registration yesterday was overwhelming.

“There are lots of parents and children here and we are expecting the turnout to be massive,” she said.

“It will be safer and we are lucky to have metro police and the city behind us, with full road closures that are safer for everyone,” she said.

Batchelder said the worrying increase in childhood obesity in the country was one of the reasons for adding a children’s event to the highly anticipated road race.

“We believe that cycling is regarded as fun and not formal exercise. The more kids we can get riding bikes through our events, the better,” she said.

The race will be divided into two distance categories, which are a five-kilometre event that starts at 7.30 am and a one- kilometre event that starts at 8.30 am.

“Each child is going to receive a beach ball, a medal and a certificate for participating, and there are no positional prizes, so there will be no pressure for children to perform,” she said.

Batchelder said she hoped this would be an event that children looked forward to every year.

“Riding a bicycle not only offers children a chance to get regular doses of ­unstructured, fun exercise, but also to experience the dual feelings of freedom and control that they will encounter increasingly as they grow older,” she said.

Registration can be done at Suncoast Conference Centre today from 9 am to 6 pm and tomorrow from 7 am.

There is a R75 entry fee for three- to five-year-olds and a R90 entry fee for six- to eight-year-olds.

Main race preview: page 19

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