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The MTB Skills Clinic focused on teaching enthusiastic youngsters basic cycling skills, safe cycling practices, bike set-up and basic mechanical skills. The group also enjoyed an outride on the second day, allowing the kids to put their new skills to the test.

Rob Vogel from the Pedal Power Association led the clinic and was assisted by fellow Cape Town mountain bikers. Vogel says, “We had many volunteers who were eager and ready to assist, making it easier to split the kids into smaller groups and rotate them through ‘work stations’. This allowed us to give children appropriate attention and training. The kids were thrilled to put on their newly sponsored Tsogo Sun kit and ride their new Scott bikes after setting up on day one. This was truly a fun and exciting two-day clinic for the kids and the coaches.”

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Buffeljagsrivier kids with the coaches and Economic Opportunities Miniser, Alan Winde.

Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities and a keen cyclist, was on hand to support this great community initiative and join the kids on their outride. Winde says, “It is great to see the excitement in the eyes of these kids as they tear around the Marloth Nature Reserve. I couldn’t help thinking that the seeds planted here today will result in a few of these kids becoming very good at mountain biking, and being catalysts in growing cycling amongst people in the Swellendam region.”

In addition to the skills learnt, the eager riders received cycling essentials like helmets, riding gloves, water bottles, tubby bags, bike wash gear, cycling shorts, BUFFS and arm warmers. Vogel adds, “We’d like to thank all our sponsors – Coronation Fund Managers, Pedal Power Association, GU, Wintergreen, Scott and Omnico, and Tsogo Sun – for their contributions and for making this clinic possible.”

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One of the participants, Kario Abrahams expressed his delight at the conclusion of the two day clinic, saying: “It was a lot of fun. The best part was definitely riding in the mountains.” Another rider, Anned Oeson, adds: “I learnt a lot and it motivated me to go out and give it my all. Riding up and down the hills gave me a sense of freedom and like it was just me and my bike out there!”

The bikes will be stored for the children to use throughout the year to further develop their MTB skills. Those who show commitment and dedication to both cycling and their school work over the next year will be given the bikes to keep.