PMB teen makes BMX world champs

2009-05-27 00:00

AN 18-year-old matric pupil of Eastwood Secondary School has become a role model for the youth of the Pietrmaritzburg suburb after he was selected to represent South Africa at the UCI BMX World Championships to be held in Australia in July.

Aldane Marais said he started BMX racing when he was 15. “I got the opportunity to race three years ago,” he said. “I won my first race and I’ve been going ever since.”

“I built my first bike from scrap, and it took me a week to do it. After a while, I started to save, and after two months I could afford a new one,” he said.

He said he got the motivation to train harder after going to the Golden Horse Casino and seeing the experts race.

“I am excited about representing South Africa at the World Championships,” he said.

“I’m going to go out there and try my best. I want to go to the extreme every time I get on a bike. This will be my first time representing South Africa, so I don’t know what to expect.”

He said he started racing at the development level, moved up through the ranks and last year came fourth at the under-17 SA Championships.

Marias said he looked up to Sifiso Nhlapo, who came third at last year’s world championships in Taiyuan in China and competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. He said he would also like to compete on the international circuit one day.

The principal of Eastwood Secondary School, Garth Rampaul, said they are very proud of Marais’s achievement.

“Coming from the environment that we’re in, we need positive role models. People from the community are always looking for role models, and he is one of the many examples that we have,” he said.

He also said that Marias needs sponsors to further his career.

“The heights that Aldane can reach are limited not by his desire, talent or abilities, but by his equipment, and so we use this opportunity to appeal to potential sponsors to make an investment in him,” he said.

If anyone is able to help Aldane, call Rampaul at 033 390 3517.

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