The first round of the Development Series Races was held in the UGU District on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast on Saturday 13 September 2014.
The Burry Stander Bike Park hosted approximately 75 children from the local district to take part in the event. The kids were given most of the morning to practice riding the BMX bicycles along the 150 metre track, which was marked with cones on the flat grass surface. For those kids that could not ride a bicycle comfortably, a quick skills session was imparted during the course of the morning until they were confident to compete with the other participants.
One of the many success stories of the day was a young female competitor, Shibase Saneliswe, from Olwandle High School, who started the day by being assisted on how to ride a bicycle to successfully finishing the course without assistance at the end of the day. Despite being termed a “race”, learning, teaching and up skilling formed an integral part of the event.
All riders had the chance to compete in three qualification rounds before the top two from each race thereafter was selected for the elimination rounds. The Grand Final presented four of the top riders, vying for gold, silver and bronze medals.
The women raced first, with a very confident Amile Zuma from Duduzile Secondary School leading all the way from start to finish.
The men’s racing was intense, with Lucky Khabela from Duduzile Secondary School taking the win and the prize as being the UGU District Development Race Champion.
“For us, this event is a huge success,” said Cycling KZN Development Officer Tyrone Johns. “If we can teach more young people to ride, and to enjoy the freedom of cycling, then we are doing our job correctly.”
We extend a big “thank you” to KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport and Recreation’s Duncan Pool, Thembanini Yengwa and Sibusiso Kunene for joining at the event, and to Mandie Stander, The Burry Stander Bike Park for hosting the inaugural District Series Development Race.
The series is supported by the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sports and Recreation, Cycling South Africa and Cycling KZN. The next event takes place in the eThekwini District at the Lahee Park Sports Field on Saturday, 20 September. For further information about the Development Series Race Day, please contact KZN Cycling Development Officer, Tyrone Johns, on 083 606 6086.