The Free State is gearing up to welcome cyclists under the age of 18 for the annual Bloemfontein Youth Event, taking place in the city from 25-28 September 2013.
Participants will enjoy a similar format to that of the Oudtshoorn Youth Festival with a few tweaks to refine the schedule to ensure that it is fun and beneficial to the young participants. For the first time this year, the BMX discipline will be introduced on the brand new BMX track that has been built in Bloemfontein. This is the first BMX track for the Free State.
Free State Cycling received funding, that was allocated for infrastructure development, from Cycling South Africa’s BMX Commission to build the new BMX track.
“We are very excited about this as it will be the first BMX track in the Free State,” said Cycling SA Transformation and Development Commissioner George Stroebel. “The BMX track will be used for the first time on Saturday 28 September, and the first 3 hours will be used as a coaching exercise before any of the racing takes place. Cycling SA BMX Director Margot Gerber will be joining us to oversee the activities of the day, and to join in this special occasion.”
The Youth Event incorporates road cycling races, such as the criterium, road race and time trial disciplines, a mountain bike race, and the new addition of BMX racing. Participants from age 10 years up until 18 years of age can compete in the array of events and get the feeling of competing in the different disciplines, each requiring their own set of challenges.
Further to the Youth Event, there will also be a Provincial Team Championship event held over the same days as the Bloemfontein Youth Event for under-16 and junior men. This is a separate event from the Youth Event, and it will be the second time that the Free State hosts the event.
The objective of the Youth Events is to create opportunities for all riders under the age of 18 to participate on a regular basis against other riders from around the country as a team. The emphasis is on the team and the province, and not on the individual. The Youth Festival programme of events also assists provinces with their Transformation and Development goals.
The Bloemfontein Youth Event also proudly welcomes riders with disabilities to participate in mainstream cycling events. Brandkop Race Track offers a safe cycling environment on a closed circuit within a nature reserve and away from daily road traffic.
Photo: Jackie Bossert O'Shea