It’s been a busy few weeks for the development programme with riders competing all over the country in a variety of events and activities.
The BMX National Series rounds 9 & 10 as well as the National BMX Championships was staged in Gauteng on the 21st & 22nd September and KZN sent through a large contingent of riders including 14 x riders that have progressed through the KZN Cycling Development programme. The smaller size of berms and jumps lent itself to being better suited to younger riders however made the Elite races no less exciting and the KZN team achieved some excellent results with a few outstanding performances.
Following in his big brother’s footsteps with a clear natural talent for riding bicycles, Mongezi Madida who is the younger brother of Manqoba managed to achieve an SA 4 placing in the final which as a novice rider who only started riding BMX this year and racing in the Expert Class, was a fantastic achievement. Wandile Mbili from Ilembe also achieved an excellent result considering this was his first national event winning through to the finals and attaining a SA7 number. Tyler Thompson managed to retain his SA 1 title with clinical racing from start to finish and other good results from the development group came from Tate Barnard – SA3, Mvelo Ntombela – SA6, Sphelele Ntombela – SA7, Mongezi Madida – SA4, Anele Ndlovu SA3, Logan Lambert SA6, Manasseh Meintkies SA6, Jordan Smallbone SA6, Zaid Stofberg SA3 and Sisanda Ngcobo SA3.
The Hi Q Hoedspruit Youth Festival took place at the Swadini Resort in Limpopo from 22nd – 25th September with a large KZN squad of junior riders that took part to compete against riders from all of the provinces across the country. The event consists of a mountain bike race, road race, hill climb, individual time-trial and criterium with points being accrued by all the riders throughout and allocated to the overall points to determine the winning teams at the end of the competition. Part of this year’s KZN team were four young men from the development programme that were selected to compete in the event, these being Chad Singh, Smagaliso Msomi, Thabiso Shange and Banele Khanyile .
Apart from the excellent performance of the KZN squad as a whole, the youngsters from the development squad rode extremely well and contributed along with all others to the dominance of the KZN team at the event. As the competition progressed, and as they got used to the conditions and the type of competitions each day, the young boys got stronger and stronger and started finishing higher up the results sheets which is good to see. The KZN team won the event overall dominating the score sheets racking up a total of 316 points to take the title with Gauteng a very distant 2nd place with 139 points and Mpumalanga in 3rd with 135 points.
Six young riders from the programme qualified for the national finals of the Spur Schools Series and Lihle Ngidi, Unathi Nxumalo Thabiso Zindela, Mnelisi Khomo, Lerato Mokela and Anele Khoza made the trip to the event. It is fantastic to see the two girls qualifying and is testament to their massive improvement and efforts this year and is a huge achievement for them as well as the boys on the list, especially Mnelisi who has given his all at every event. They all rode well with varying success at the event and did not disappoint on look out of place at all against the best school riders in the country.
While all the events were going on, the work of the development district officers continued this month and another 86 x training clinics were held across the country with another 4 144 learners being included in the programme. To date, a total of 18 166 youngsters have been through the clinics programme which is great news.