Heritage celebrated at cycle tour

2018-09-18 06:01

“The world is a small place; we need to get on our bicycles, get together and get ahead. This is what the Sports Trust Community Cycle Race and Heritage Day Social Cohesion event is all about – coming together to make our part of the world a better place, and to take our children forward.”

These are the words of Juven Rittels, deputy director for the Integrity Management Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority, who is an alumnus of Beacon Hill Secondary School.

“I grew up here and was raised by my mom, Joan Rittels, who worked incredibly hard in a bakery as a single parent to give us a better life,” he says, adding that over 60% of the children are growing up without father figures. “Events like this are extremely important to bring the community together,” he says.

Rittels, together with Beacon Hill teacher Zaida Davids and the Sports Trust Development Cycling Programme, funded by Nedbank, head up this year’s event on Sunday 23 September at the school.

This is the second instalment of the event.

“The cycle race anchors all the activities and even though the race needed to be cancelled last year due to weather, the festivities continued and it was an absolutely wonderful event,” says Rittels.

The cycle race is a crit format with a 5.9km circuit through Beacon Valley. It is open to all cyclists from u.13 to the open category. It is highly competitive with over 400 entrants, and it is endorsed by Cycling South Africa. The race is free for learners and R50 for open category cyclists.

In addition to the cycle race there will be a range of activities including sport, food and cooldrink stalls, health talks, technology demos and Zumba dance sessions, as well as singing, dancing, poetry and storytelling. The event will also be filmed by SuperSport.

The event’s evolution is, as Gerry Raftopoulos, group marketing manager of the Nedbank Sport Affinity, puts it, “proof of the enormously positive community impact of the development cycling programme”.

The Sports Trust Development Cycling Programme has taken the sport of cycling into 12 high schools and their communities in disadvantaged areas of the Western Cape, including the Cape Flats, the West Coast and Boland. Nedbank has funded the programme since 2005. Nedbank together with The Sports Trust, support the five community cycle races each year, hosted by the participating schools. Mike Tippett, manager of development cycling for the Sports Trust says the event has led to strong friendships and bonds.

Gregory Kannemeyer, Beacon Hill principal says welcomes the idea of people visiting the area. The event is known for generating goodwill. South African football star Nasief Morris, who grew up next door to Rittels in Beacon Valley, attended the 2017 event to the delight of aspirant soccer stars.

The race will start and end at Beacon Hill Secondary. Registration is between 07:00 and 08:15 with a briefing at 08:30.

There will be a staggered start due to varying distances, and the prize-giving will take place at 13:00.

Refreshments will be on sale.

V Cyclists can enter online at www.wpcycling.com. Call Sharief Peters on 082 926 9402.


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