The Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy in Khayelitsha, South Africa, has been selected as the official community beneficiary of the Mzansi Tour, an exciting new cycling event launched today (Tuesday, 12 February, 2013).
Velokhaya is a not-for-profit organisation (NPO) which uses its education-based cycling programmes to give children from disadvantaged communities the skills and opportunities they need to make a success of their lives.
As the Mzansi Tour’s Skills Development and Transformation beneficiary, Velokhaya intends using the support of the CATHSSETA (Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sports Sector Education and Training Authority), an Mzansi Tour Partner, to boost skills development amongst its members and contribute to the economic growth of the South African sports sector.
According to Monde Mpongoshe, Velokhaya CEO: “The partnership with CATHSSETA will not only give Velokhaya’s members access to skills that will allow them to make a meaningful contribution to this sector, but Velokhaya will also be responsible for helping to develop skills in communities located along the route of the Mzansi Tour as part of a legacy initiative.”
These skills include event coordination, media liaison, cycle coaching, technical team support, bicycle mechanics and marshalling, amongst others.
Velokhaya Chairman, Mthunzi Mdwaba said, “The Mzansi Tour will provide a platform and an opportunity for inspiration and the creation of jobs, both on and off the bike. This is because we have found cycling to be highly effective when it comes to inculcating values such as discipline, dedication, commitment, professionalism, teamwork and leadership in our members.”
Velokhaya will also be providing neutral support to cycling teams who do not have their own team support for the Mzansi Tour.
The Mzansi Tour, which is organised by Echelon events and which will take place from April 17 to 21, 2013, has also partnered with the Burry Stander Foundation for safe cycling awareness.
The foundation – which was established in memory of the South African Olympic cyclist who died in a road accident in January this year – is campaigning for new legislation that will create safer road conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and motorbikes, amongst others.
Mpongoshe said Velokhaya was fully supportive of the aims of the Foundation and would continue to contribute to safe cycling awareness through its involvement in the Engen Safe Cycling Programme.
“Eight years ago, our academy launched a safe cycling programme to teach school-going cyclists about responsible road usage. Thanks to the on-going support of Engen, this programme is now available in five provinces and has to date introduced more than 10 000 children to safe cycling.
“We hope that the knowledge these children gain from this safe cycling programme while at school will provide a foundation for them to become responsible adult road users, both as cyclists and motorists."
Current supporters of the Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in October this year, include Pick n Pay, Safmarine, Engen, Anglo V3 Crane Hire and ASG Sport.
Source: Velokhaya press release