“Kids, come and ride!” is the appeal from the Mpumalanga Youth Festival

Provinces situated in the northern parts of the country will be pleased to know that cycling festivities will be opened up for the youth as part of the greater regions’ cycling development programme in Badplaas, Mpumalanga from 27-30 June 2013.

Differing slightly to the Oudtshoorn Youth Festival in that only mountain bike and road cycling events will be incorporated, the Mpumalanga Youth Festival will run for four days and provides an opportunity to those regions closer to its borders to participate.

The under-10, u12, u14, u16 and junior age categories will be able to enter, with the Forever Resort in Badplaas playing host to the array of cycling events for the duration of the four days.

Thursday 27 June sees a road race take place, where the distances will be altered to accommodate the various age groups. This will be followed by a mountain bike race on Friday 28 June. The course will not be technical and is specifically designed for the participation of the youngsters in mind, all within the Forever Resort grounds.

On Saturday 29 June, the action turns back to the road where a hill climb and a team time trial will take place. A team will consist of four riders. On Sunday 30 June, the cycling action will finish off with a kermesse.

The establishment of the Youth Festival series keeps in line with Cycling SA’s Long Term Participant Development (LTPD) model, and has a similar focus and format as that of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG).

Youngsters under the age of 18 are given the opportunity to participate in Road and Mountain Bike racing, enhancing skills and encouraging cross-pollination between the disciplines of cycling.

Cycling-SA Director of Road Cycling Hendrik Wagener says that the decision to host an event for the greater region has been done at short notice. “With a sudden decision to host this event in June, we have not had the chance to secure a sponsor. But there has been tremendous response from the KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces, that they have all contributed R10,000 each to the running of the event.

Wagener appeals to all youngsters to come and ride! So much so, that the event will not be charging an entry fee for the various cycle races.

“There will be no entry fee cost to the kids at all,” says Wagener. “We really want to see the youngsters come and enjoy the cycling festivities in June.” Wagener adds that each child that participates will receive a medal.

The Forever Resort in Badplaas has offered a 30% discount to all competitors and their families connected to the Mpumalanga Youth festival event.

Click here for more information on Cycling SA Coaching Commission’s LTPD model.