In the week of 25th – 30th April, 110 x young riders from all 11 x districts were transported to Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 25th April to take part in the KZN District Final, with training activities and competitions taking place in all four major cycling disciplines, namely Road, Track, MTB & BMX. This event was the culmination of the clinics training programme that has been ongoing in all 11 x districts, and district events were held so as to be able to select the ten best riders from each region – from the clinics programme and not those that are already in the HP squads or who have taken part in provincial events previously – so as to allow them to be able to compete against their compatriots from all over the province.
On the first two days, the group was divided into smaller training groups and they all received training in the different disciplines and to get them used to using geared road and mountain bikes, as well as using the track bikes and competition level BMX bikes. On Wednesday and Thursday, competitions were then held in all four disciplines so that the youngsters could put into practise what had been learnt in the training sessions. Apart from allowing the riders to be able to compete – and also win individual trophies in their respective age categories – it is an event that allowed for those riders with talent in the different elements to be identified so that they can be progressed into the HP groups in each of the districts, to receive additional training from the HP officers during this next phase of the programme in the 21/22 time period. This portion in itself was extremely successful in that a significant number of youngsters have been identified – the future looks bright for the next crop of riders.
Regardless of where the riders finished in each of the competitions on an individual basis, all riders were allocated points in the competitions towards the District prize, and the top three performing districts overall were as follows:
- 1st place – eThekwini
- 2nd place – Zululand
- 3rd place – uMkhanyakude
The attitude and willingness of the youngsters that were at the event this week was great to see and they all gave of their best and tried really hard throughout which was fantastic to see. The event also showed that the district programmes are working, and the various district officers are working hard to ensure the youngsters in their regions are being well trained. They have now all returned to their home districts with new skills and with added incentive to continue training hard.