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New academy for aspiring cyclists

Written by Thandeka Ngobese

Sport, arts and culture

The eThekwini Municipality in partnership with the Kargo Pro Cycling team and the city’s Durban Green Corridor have launched the GO!Durban Cycle Academy to unearth young talent and give aspiring cyclists an opportunity to hone their skills.

Aspiring cyclists from eNanda have been given a chance to improve their skills.

The first site for the academy is being developed at the eNanda Adventure Park.

The Durban Green Corridor has identified locations that have potential as academy sites. The eight confirmed sites are in KwaMashu, KwaDabeka, eNanda, Cornubia, South Beach, Glenwood, Umlazi and Amanzimtoti.

The Durban Green Corridor aims to develop outdoor adventure sports and related tourism through natural open spaces to promote local economic development and job creation in neighbouring communities. This makes it a natural partner to develop cycle parks to support the academy’s development programme while also providing safe spaces for citizens to learn how to ride.

The GO!Durban Cycle Academy forms the foundation for the creation of a robust cycling culture, with the city forging ahead with its planned GO!Durban integrated rapid public transport network.

A linked integrated rapid public transport network entails the provision of walkways, pedestrian bridges and cycling lanes
primarily as a means to provide access to public transport, but also to provide for those who cannot afford it. 

In 2014 the municipality launched the Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) network plan. The city’s engineers have developed a plan to create cycle lanes and walkways throughout the urban and peri-urban sectors of the city as part of the overall public transport plan.

Speaking at the official launch, eThekwini Municipality Speaker Logie Naidoo said the City is giving residents the space and opportunity to learn to cycle and take up cycling as a sport.

“We are linking our young ones with the professional cycling team so that they are able to cross the historical barriers of the past and have access to a world and environment that would ordinarily have been inaccessible,” he said.

Naidoo urged the eNanda community to get involved, and not to watch from the sidelines. “Look at this as an opportunity to develop a vibrant economic and socially satisfying node. At the same time, we encourage other communities where sites are planned to think how they can get involved,” he said.

One of the students at the eNanda Cycle Academy, Sibusiso Ndlovu said they are grateful to be part of the academy.

“It means a lot to me. It has been my dream to be involved in this kind of sport. But through financial constraints I was unable to fulfil my dream. Thanks to the municipality for opening doors for us. In the next cycling competition I will be champion. Just watch this space,” Ndlovu said excitedly.

Training will take place after school to give the young athletes time to complete their homework at the academy site.