Khayelitsha kids keen to show their moves on BMX’s world stage

2010-07-29 00:00

WITH the UCI BMX World Championships starting today, many local riders will be competing on a stage bigger than they could ever have imagined.

Today will see the junior challenge riders taking part in their respective heats, and many of them will be up against some extremely tough opposition.

For Team Velokhaya, a group of development riders who are part of the Western Cape team, participation in the event has given them something to be excited about.

The team consists of five young riders, all from underprivileged areas in the Western Cape, who were introduced to BMX’ing as part of a development strategy that was started by an organisation called the Life Cycling Academy.

About seven years ago, the Life Cycling Academy began introducing cycling to underprivileged children.

About two years ago, the academy built a BMX track in Khayelitsha near Cape Town.

Team Velokhaya is the product of this development programme, and for the five young riders given the chance to represent their country this weekend at the World Championships, this is a momentous occasion, said the team’s coach, Mzukisi Vicani.

“It is such a good learning curve for these kids to be a part of an event like this,” Vicani said.

“They must just relax and enjoy it. Where they have a chance they must take it, but all we can ask is that they give their best.”

Vicani also emphasised the importance of development in a sport like BMX.

“It is extremely important because it is through development programmes like this one that we find so much talent in underprivileged areas,” he stressed.

“These five kids have now been given an opportunity and hopefully it will open the door for others.”

All five members of Team Velokhaya will be in action today as they take on riders from all around the world in the heats.

The team will return to Cape Town on Sunday.

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