KwaZulu-Natal’s biggest road cycle challenge celebrated another milestone in their commitment to the local communities on the route of the race at the official opening of their second Amashova Road Safety Bike Park at the George Cato Primary School in Cato Ridge, KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday 1 October.
The launch date coincides with the beginning of the Department of Transport’s Transport Month, which is a national programme hosted under the theme “Together we move South Africa forward”. During Transport Month, Government will also mobilise public and private sector participation in transport projects aimed at developing the country’s economy and ensuring sustainable job creation.*
Road safety is a vital element for all road users, whether motorists, pedestrians or cyclists, and the Amashova Road Safety Bike Park enables staff to educate their learners on the importance of road safety and understanding the various road signs and traffic light signals so that they can be responsible road users of the future.
George Cato Primary School Principal, Mr Magwaza, was thankful for the partnership with Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic. “Our school has approximately 50 staff and 1054 learners – we are growing. The vast school grounds include a soccer field, rugby field, cricket pitch and now a road safety bicycle park. We want to arm our learners with the necessary skills to compete in a variety of sport and recreation events using our facilities. By explaining our challenges to Amashova, they knew who to talk to and they have helped us.”
Annie Batchelder of Right on the Night Promotions, the organisers of the Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic, said: “We wanted to leave a legacy of road safety wherever we go along the Amashova route, and with this Road Safety Bike Park we can encourage learners to be responsible road users.
“The Bike Park is here to stay; it is your Bike Park,” she said to the learners. “We want to see some of you take to cycling more competitively and maybe one day you too will be competing in the Amashova.”
Cycling KZN Development Officer Tyrone Johns said: “Thanks to the Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic and to all the parties involved for making this project a reality. Cycling KZN supports projects like this, and we would like to roll this out to other schools in KwaZulu-Natal as well. We invite and encourage any learner that wants to learn how to ride a bicycle, and this provides a safe environment to develop those cycling skills. We also want to identify and harness talent so that some learners from this school can be part of competitive cycling events over time.”
By working closely with Cycling KwaZulu-Natal, the organisers of the Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic identified and paid for two teachers to attend a seven-day UCI Coaching Course in April this year. Mr Shange and Mr Mzama returned with great skills, which they will impart on their learners.
“We were given the opportunity to take part in the UCI course and train our learners so that we can grow cycling in our school,” said Mr Shange. “We have the infrastructure in place and now we can impart these skills onto the learners.”
Cycling SA’s Transformation and Development Commission Director, Yster Xatasi, said: “It is always our wish to have cycling in schools and we are pushing very hard to have school sports include cycling and this needs to be recognised by government. I am encouraged by what I see here today. We will use the George Cato Primary School as a flagship for our schools in Cycling SA. When we negotiate with the government, we will use this school as an example. This is the type of development that we need in all the provinces. We thank all those stakeholders for their contribution in making projects like this work in KZN.”
The first Amashova Road Safety Bike Park was built at the Ethembeni School for the Physically Disabled and Visually Impaired in Inchanga in 2007. The park consists of a specially designed and approved tar area with traffic signs and road markings where children can either walk or ride their bicycles on the track.