Chesterton does us proud

2018-10-09 06:01
The Spur Schools MTB League race inter-schools final was held in Magaliesburg at the weekend. Here are (from left) Aidan Penfold from Paul Roos Gymnasium, Justin Chesterton from Wynberg Boys’ High and Justin Vosloo from Windhoek Gymnasium.

The Spur Schools MTB League race inter-schools final was held in Magaliesburg at the weekend. Here are (from left) Aidan Penfold from Paul Roos Gymnasium, Justin Chesterton from Wynberg Boys’ High and Justin Vosloo from Windhoek Gymnasium.

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Wynberg Boys’ High’s Justin Chesterton achieved a first place finish in the final Spur Schools MTB League race inter-schools final in Magaliesburg at the weekend.

However, riders from schools in the Western Cape narrowly missed out on the top spot in the final.

They were beaten into second place by the narrowest of margins – just 12 points – by the Gauteng team.

“It has been a jam-packed league and we are so proud of our riders; each one of them trained really hard and gave the 2018 season their absolute all. We were really strong contenders and, on another day, the overall title could have been ours,” says Michelle du Preez, race coordinator for the Western Cape region.

The region achieved nine podium finishes: two first places, one second and seven third places.

The two first places went to Justin Chesterton (Wynberg Boys’ High School) and Jamie Penfold (Paul Roos Gymnasium).

Second place was achieved by Matthew Lochner of Paul Roos Gymnasium.

Third places were awarded to Aidan Penfold (Paul Roos Gymnasium – two third places); Joshua Burger (Parel Vallei High School – two third places); Anna Marx (Springfield Convent – two third places), and Andrea Schofmann (Rhenish Girls’ High School).

This year the Western Cape events attracted a total of 2708 entries (a 21% increase compared to 2017), and completed 4691 laps and 21 529km for the season.

The Spur Schools MTB League, currently in its 10th year, is the country’s largest high school cycling programme and the main nursery for talent in the sport. The weekend’s events wrapped up months of rigorous training and hours of trail riding through mountainous terrain. This year alone the event attracted close to 16 000 entries from 500 schools across the country. And this figure is set to increase drastically next year, as more schools look to be included in what has been described as one of the world’s largest inter-schools MTB programmes.

Meurant Botha, director of Amarider and principal organiser of the league, says the Western Cape’s performance speaks for itself and bodes well for the growth of the sport in the province. He explains that the league was launched by Spur Steak Ranches and Amarider in 2009 with the ultimate aim of promoting MTB as an official in-school sport, along with rugby and cricket, as well as encouraging mass participation among schoolgoing children.

“The league has performed incredibly well in the last 10 years, and we are so proud to consistently witness its growth year-on-year. The fact that it gets the kids so excited is a bonus,” Botha says.

All results are available online at www.spurmtbleague.co.za. Planning for next season will get underway in earnest in just a few weeks.

Botha says Spur Steak Ranches, the league’s main sponsor for the past 10 years with an investment of around R17m to date, has announced their commitment to remain the primary sponsor for the next 10 years.

The provisional dates for next year’s regional events will be added to the calendar at the end of next month.

V For information on how to participate as an individual rider, or as a school, visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za.

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