Club keeps kids ‘off the streets’

2018-05-08 06:01
Fresh Start Cycling Club members during a training session.

Fresh Start Cycling Club members during a training session.

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Fresh Start Cycling Club from Ocean View is giving other cycling clubs a run for their money and they are showing no signs of putting on the brakes soon.

Towards the end of April, the club’s juniors showed the way with an outstanding performance in a Western Province Cycling League race. Seven juniors took to the podium for their sterling results in the race.

The club was started by Abduraghiem de Klerk, also from Ocean View, as a means of keeping children off the streets.

Being an avid cyclist himself, he started off at a local school, training the learners to cycle.

The children did well and took part in various races. With them doing so well, De Klerk saw an opportunity for his own community and he started the Fresh Start Cycling Club.

De Klerk’s wife Sageda, who has been at the forefront of organising everything for the club, says the club is their way of giving back to the community and keeping children off the streets.

Her husband is a former drug addict and she says they know firsthand the challenges that the local children face.

“We wanted to give them hope and something to do. My husband was on drugs and he has been clean now so we started the club as we didn’t want any other child to go down that same route. This is not about my husband but the children and we are glad that they enjoy it, and their dedication and determination just makes it easy to run the club.

“There are a lot of challenges from their homes. Some homes have single parents, some struggle financially, some don’t have role models and they end up doing drugs. Our aim with the club is to take them off all those things and we are glad we are doing just right,” she says.

“Abduraghiem knew a lot of people in the cycling world and he went around to ask for donations for bikes and cycling gear so that those that come for training have something to use. People helped us.

“Over the years we have grown from just being a cycle club to being a family. The riders come early and they get breakfast. Some come here with nothing so we help where we can. We are doing this so that they can be good ambassadors and they don’t go down the wrong path,” says Sageda.

“The club has seen an increase in numbers, and due to a shortage of equipment we had to split the children. I call them dogs and puppies. With the increase in numbers we now have big puppies and small puppies.

“We are also grateful to Rawson who have come on board to sponsor us. Our children cycle with pride and they are doing well. Our hope is that we see them take part in big competitions.”

She adds that they also focus on discipline. “The way they adhere to time is pretty amazing. When we say we will be on the road at 05:00, they all make it on time. They know we don’t wait for anyone. It’s about having fun together, learning and discipline, but what’s most important for us is that they are kept busy by their cycling schedule with no time to be on the streets,” she says.

The club is still in need of assistance with bicycles and cycling gear to keep up with the ever increasing number of children.VTo assist, call 082 657 5308.

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