Cyclists shine at fest

2019-07-23 06:25
Western Province representatives from left to right (back): Christine Solomons, Santiago Constant, Amien De Klerk, Jordan September, Lakenzo Britton, Noah September and Rizia Steggie. Front: Adam Martiens, Rochay Lamb, Rabia Potts and Zinadean Lamb.

Western Province representatives from left to right (back): Christine Solomons, Santiago Constant, Amien De Klerk, Jordan September, Lakenzo Britton, Noah September and Rizia Steggie. Front: Adam Martiens, Rochay Lamb, Rabia Potts and Zinadean Lamb.

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A five-year-old passion project in Ocean View has kept the youth off the street and churned out 11 children whose cycling talents have afforded them the opportunity to represent the Western Province.

Fresh Start Cycling Club in Ocean View is proud to have had the children in their club represent the province at the Oudtshoorn Youth Festival last month. The club was started by Sageda De Klerk and her husband, Abduraghiem De Klerk, as a hobby to help him on his recovery journey.

“My husband and I started this club five years ago. My hubby’s biggest interest is cycling and as he is an addict in recovery for the last 15 years, he knows first-hand what it is like to lose the battle,” says Sageda.

“He wanted to assist anyone who needs a fresh start, hence our club’s name. It’s not easy ... some of the children have succumbed (to addiction) and we are hoping – through God’s Grace – that they will find their way back again,” she explained.

The team of 26 meets at their home in Ocean View where all learners are welcome to join if they are able to keep pace with the team or are dedicated to training in order to match the other riders.

Sponsors, the dedication of the cyclists and especially devoted coaches enabled the riders to achieve impressive results at the cycling tournament. Christine Solomons, Rizia Steggie and Rabiyah Potts bagged three medals; Rochay Lamb and Santiago Constant earned one medal each and the brothers Jordan and Noah September received an impressive total of five medals at the youth festival.

Christine was elated at her placement in the competition and was happy to make her parents proud.

Rawson Property Group is a generous sponsor who helps to make all cyclist’s dreams possible despite challenges. “As Bill Rawson sponsors gear and bikes, we may be able to help if the child does not have a bicycle of his own,” she says.

Sageda conveyed a big thank you to coaches Abduraghiem and Juan Pierre for their time spent on the roads preparing the team and to the parents who assisted.

Looking to their next big event, Sageda says: “We will be taking part in the league races of Western Province Cycling for the rest of this term. The next event is 28 July at Killarney.”

She continues, explaining that the accomplishments of the cyclists can only be attributed to hard work, motivation and more hard work. “We train every day, Monday to Thursday at 16:30. We do club rides every Saturday and the bigger boys go with the senior coach, Abduraghiem, on Sundays for high-intensity training.”

She commended the group for the roles they play in the community. “They are the ambassadors to Ocean View. It shows that we are doing something right, especially in a community that is rife with alcohol and drug abuse, and gangsterism. We are proud to be able to keep children off the streets and be able to make a difference. Parents come knocking at our doors constantly as they see the difference we are making.”

Unfortunately, they are still faced with the challenge of transporting the children to and from events and are therefore pleading for assistance.

V To assist Fresh Start Cycling Club call Sageda De Klerk on 082 657 5308 or visit their Facebook page: Ocean View - Fresh Start Cycling Club..

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