Xatasi aims to grow cycling in township schools, via SABC

Popular sport administrator from New Brighton, Yster Xatasi (Cycling South Africa's Director of Transformation and Development), is making a difference in his community, using cycling to get youngsters off the streets. 

He established Siyanqoba Community Sport Development in 2009 and some of the children involved are now even representing South Africa in elite races against top nations.

Despite cycling being one of the most expensive sporting codes worldwide that has not deterred Xatasi from recruiting disadvantaged youths to get on a bike.

Some youngsters have been cycling for the past five years. Some have since participated in elite races like the Herald Cycle Tour and Africa Continental Champs. 

And now Xatasi has his sight set on introducing cycling in township schools. "I would like to see rural areas children riding bicycles competing. Some of them can be involved in Olympic games."

The cyclists also want their track at the Chevrolet Stadium to be refurbished. The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality says R14 million has been allocated for sport facilities in the metro but acknowledges that more funds are needed to improve sports facilities in the townships.

Municipal Spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki , says, "We have set aside budgeting for next year, next financial year to be specific, but in this adjustment that we have done, we are still looking at what money we can get because we cannot say ‘planned for next year, they must wait’. What do they do in the meantime? We quarrel at times, as much as we are their government ."

Siyanqoba has more than one hundred broken bicycles that need to be repaired but despite these challenges one youngster, Sinovuyo Kalawa,  is determined to kickstart his career in cycling. 

"I want to go to races and get scholarship from different sponsors, different business, companies because it can open doors for you."

Cycling South Africa says some of these young cyclists will participate in the national championships at Westbourne Oval in the Friendly City in 2017.

Source: http://www.sabc.co.za/news/a/eb9b08004bd9d636b713b796fb2bb898/Xatasi-aims-to-grow-cycling-in-township-schools-20160228