BCA in its mission to engage youth in historically disadvantaged communities and schools positively, we found the need to formalize and structure a programme that would draw attention and expand exposure to the sport of cycling that has been fast growing in the township of Khayelitsha.
One of the main reasons we put together this programme which is the ISCL into public school, we wanted to introduce our historically disadvantaged community schools into cycling and change the perception that cycling is only for rich people and also try to convince black girls to try cycling as a sport lastly to bring the sport of cycling to the door steps of our communities.
Coming from the Township Cycling Summit which was held on Friday the 12 August, the team felt that they were "done". BCA management gathered at Chris Hani Art and Culture School in Khayelitsha Makhaza in the early morning (13 August) at 07:00 preparing for the event. The PA system was set up and route checked, also marked in time, and everything was ready to roll. At 08:00, riders from different school entered the venue one by one to register before the race commenced. Just after the registration, it was evident that the turnout actually exceeded the numbers expected to have on the day of the event, which was very interesting to the team. This showed them that the programme attracted and created a "vibe" in the community and more importantly, the schools.
Cycling South Africa's President, Mr William Newman, also commented about the ISCL, congratulating the BCA team for putting together a high class event right in the heart of the township: “I must commend Bonga.Org Cycling Academy for putting together this fantastic event, we all thought it would be raining today but I see the weather has played along and I know we are going to have a very good day.
"I am very encouraged by what is see in terms of talent and this is the future of our sport with the support BCA needs and kids I know this is a sustainable project and this is the future. These are the boys and girls who will go on to represent our country and right now we are witnessing the Olympic games in Rio and in four years time the Olympics will be taking place in Tokyo there is no reason the team representing SA can’t come from young boys and girls Khayelitsha ISCL and I would really like to commend BCA team again for putting together this fantastic event and I would like to see this growing from strength to strength. There has to be weekly events to give all the talented young boys and girls opportunity.” .
The first race commenced with the 10-13 year olds - a group of 12 riders. A great performance was witnessed, and much hunger and potential from the young lions. A tream from Kriaafontein also showed a great performance by taking 2nd and 3rd place.
“This is my first race ever and I want to thank BCA for the opportunity and I so wish we can have more of this races here in Khayelitsha” said lonwabo Mhlasela who took 1st place in his age category (U/13).
At 9:30 the ladies lined up to start their race at 09h40, Ncebakazi Mkodeni the defending champion was amongst the bunch ready to defend her title. Just before the race began, Ncebakazi said: “My plan today is to just try keeping my pace and trying to get away from the other girls the second lap."
Ncebakazi broke away from the first lap and took the 2016 TAS ISCL ladies title. “I was well prepared for this race and the results proved” she said.
Around 10:30 was when the Elite and U/23 riders began. Sipamandla Poto from Masiyile High School (former defending Champion 2014) was amongst the riders with the 2015 defending champion Azukile Simayile from Stellenbosch Songo.Info.
“I am ready to tackle this race and my plan is to just sit in front and watch who will attach first and jump in as well” said Poto.
The main race started with 15 riders and only taking the top 6 to the next round. The first lap Azukile, Baphelele and Vuyo came back for the second lap leading the race. Just behind them three boys from Matthew Goniwe Memorial High School were chasing very hard trying to close the gap, but it seemed impossible. The spectators were very excited and shouting and cheering the riders on: “hamba!! Hamba!!” (meaning Go!! Go!!).
Baphelele had chain problems and ended up stopping to fix it. Baphelele was then right at the back of the peloton, chasing to close the gap, Vuyo was laying 2nd, right behind Azukile, but come the last lap Baphelele quickly began closing the gap, and ended up out-sprinting Vuyo, securing 2nd place.
“My chain slipped and I was about to give up but I remembered one thing that I am here to race, to get a podium finish today” said Baphelele.
All the winners we presented with medals and Jerseys by Cycling South Africa President Mr. William Newman,
“What is very evident today is that there is talent in Khayelitsha, it is very commendable that BCA is looking after these young boys and girls, I know that we will get champions emerging. I am very impressed to see the professionalism of the event to give out leaders jerseys, this is a high class high quality event and to each and every one who participated you also future champions and winners, so I would like to congratulate you all for coming out here today and be part of this fantastic event.
"To Bonga.Org Cycling Academy, Sponsors and Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport and everyone who has supported this event I am very happy and I thank you for that from CSA side I just want to see this event growing, the programme growing and I want to see more regular events in Khayelitsha so that we can continue give the youth of Khayelitsha the right full opportunity they all deserve.” said Newman.
We would like to thank you all, the sponsors who helped us make this event a success, The Answer Series, Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Score Energy Drink, Bashew’s and Nothemba Funerals and Financial Service, all the principals, teachers, learners, supporters and the community of Khayelitsha at large.
“The 2016 Inter-Schools Cycling League has proven that kids from Khayelitsha love bicycles, cycling, sport and entertainment, we as BCA team promise to bring more of such events to the community of Khayelitsha and make sure that cycling development is fast tracked at all levels and areas. Sport is a catalyst to change someone’s life, sport contributes positively to academic results.” Said Bonga Ngqobane, the Founder.
“Come 2017 we plan to host a series of events to popularizes cycling and multisport in the township” said Luthando Gqamana.
Matthew Goniwe Memorial High Schools takes the 2016 Inter-Schools Cycling League Trophy.
Source: Bonga Cycling Academy Report