The second annual Badplaas Youth Festival was hailed a great success by the event organisers as they welcomed 112 young competitors from the northern provincial regions in South Africa at the Forever Resort Badplaas, Mpumalanga, from 2-6 July 2014.
The entry field was more than double compared to its first year, when they hosted only 53 enthusiastic cyclists in 2013.
“It was marvellous to see so many young kids on their bikes, enjoying themselves,” said event organiser Hendrik Wagener. “Forever Resort Badplaas provided a safe place for them to ride. We even had a few young under-10 kids having fun while competing on their bicycles.”
The event is staged to attract young cyclists under the age of 18 from the KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga regions to enhance their skills and encourage cross-pollination between the disciplines of cycling.
KwaZulu-Natal walked away with most of the prizes during the competition.
The young cyclists took part in mountain bike and road cycling events, which included cross-country, a hill climb, team time trial and a criterium – a short-circuit road race.
The organisers believe that the secret to the event’s success is that they did not charge a race entry fee to the competitors. “Not charging a race entry fee is something that we want to maintain in the years to come,” said Wagener. “We hope that next year’s event is even bigger and better!”
While the cost of travel and accommodation can be heavy on the families, Forever Resort Badplaas offered a 20% discount on accommodation to all competitors and their families connected to the Youth Festival event.
Photo credit: Darryl Stedman