KZN Cycling Development Indaba a success

KwaZulu-Natal Cycling, in conjunction with KwaZulu-Natal Sports and Recreation, held their first Development Indaba on 21 March 2015. It was KwaZulu-Natal Cycling’s way of showcasing what has been done for the development of cycling and to share the achievements and successes of the past year.

From left: Duncan Pool (KwaZulu-Natal Sports and Recreation), William Newman (Cycling SA President), Mr. Prem Vayapuri (KwaZulu-Natal Sports and Recreation) and Mike Bradley (Cycling SA General Manager) at KZN Cycling's first Development Indaba on 21 March 2015. Photo: supplied

From left: Duncan Pool (KwaZulu-Natal Sports and Recreation), William Newman (Cycling SA President), Mr. Prem Vayapuri (KwaZulu-Natal Sports and Recreation) and Mike Bradley (Cycling SA General Manager) at KZN Cycling's first Development Indaba on 21 March 2015. Photo: supplied

The Indaba provided an opportunity for the cycling community to understand how the funding streams work and to ask questions as it was one of the few occasions where Cycling SA President Mr. William Newman, Cycling SA General Manager Mr. Mike Bradley, KwaZulu-Natal Cycling President Mr. Greg Stedman and KwaZulu-Natal Cycling Development Officer Mr. Tyrone Johns were all at the same venue at the same time. Also in attendance were Mr. Prem Vayapuri and Mr. Duncan Pool from KwaZulu-Natal Sports and Recreation to share their experiences on dealing with KwaZulu-Natal Cycling and to share in their plans moving forward.

Mr. Newman opened the session and expressed how pleased he was to see KwaZulu-Natal take the initiative in being the first province to hold such an event and that he would like to see more of these events take place throughout the country. Newman emphasised that relationships and partnerships with sponsors, role players and provincial sports and recreation bodies were critical in growing our sport within the country. The development of women’s cycling requires greater work even though some great results have been achieved. Cycling SA recognises that and is proud of these achievements, but more can be done to introduce more woman into cycling and keep them in the sport.

Mr. Vayapuri spoke of the International events that have been brought to the KwaZulu-Natal province and how our local athletes have benefitted from these experiences. Vayapuri also spoke of the processes being in place to put cycling on the map within the province. He believes that this begins with school sports, and introducing cycling at school level will make a huge impact on increasing the talent pool and discovering our future champions.

Mr. Bradley spoke about the basic structures needed to sett up a cycling club and to run it on good governance. Identify what needs to be achieved within the club and go after the funding that is needed to achieve those goals. Emphasis was placed on being transparent and sticking to the rules and building solid partnerships with sponsors and the federations.

Mr. Stedman addressed the attendees from a provincial point of view on where the focus was with development and how different clubs can get access to funding to help with their development needs.

The attendees of the Indaba were fortunate have Mr. Mark Carroll, Cycling SA’s Coaching Commission Director, give a talk on coaching and the do’s and don’ts with young athletes. He also explained more about the Level 1 Coaching Course being held around the country.

Rowan Johns (Leigh’s Cycle Centre) held a Mechanics Workshop where the attendees got to ask questions on any bike mechanical issues and got a lecture on proper bike cleaning and maintenance, which was very interesting as there were lots of tips given on incorrect habits that we are guilty of – it was a great experience.

In Rowan’s lecture, there was also a competition for all the clubs to share what they were doing for development in KwaZulu-Natal and how it benefits cycling. The winner received a full mechanics tool kit valued at R5000. Mr Nhlanhla Thabede from Ladysmith Development Cycling Club took the honours and couldn’t stop smiling after taking away his prize.

The day was a huge success, with attendees gaining greater insight into how Cycling SA and KwaZulu-Natal Cycling are run, where their different focuses are and how they are all a part of the cycling community together.