Spur Schools MTB League Weekend Roundup

Heading into the last month before the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League National finals in October, schools are pulling out all the stops to qualify. This weekend mountain bike enthusiasts in the Northern Cape, Free State, Kwazulu Natal and Limpopo will have another opportunity to add to their point count and better their positions on the respective regional logs.

Eight years into the League organisers are anticipating that more than 500 Southern African schools will be represented in the 2016 season from May to October.  Riders from as young as 5 years, will take to the track on Saturday, 3 September. For primary school participants it is all about developing their skills and having loads of fun, while the competition is more serious for high school learners that can qualify for the national finals.

The League runs on the Olympic Cross Country (XCO) lap racing format whereby participants completes a set number of laps, determined by age category, of a short mountain bike course.  Lap distances vary between 3-5km and the format makes for technical riding and great spectator value.

FREE STATE: Free State riders will compete at State de Gold (Stonepark) with registration from 08h00- 09h15 and course practice from 08h30-09h15.  The Sprogs and Nippers will do the short course and set off at 09h30 and 09h34 respectively.  A staggered start with see the sub-junior girls, youth boys and girls and junior girls starting from 10h00-10h05.  At 11h15 and 11h18 the junior and sub-juniors boys will start the final schools races of the day.  Prize giving is from 13h00-14h00 followed by a senior fun ride at 14h00 to wrap up the day.

The current Free State Spur Schools MTB League leaders are Simone Farber of Jim Fouche High School (youth ladies), Marnus Prinsloo of Grey College (sub-junior boys), Simone Grove of Ficksburg High (Sub-junior girls), Wynand Brits of Grey College (Youth boys), Jana Michau of Voortrekker High School (Junior women) and Rinus Maarsingh also of Grey College (Junior men).  For more information click on the following linkhttps://www.facebook.com/SpurSchoolsLeague/photos/a.361542583889439.79447.114066021970431/1200824183294604/?type=1&theater

NORTHERN CAPE: In the Northern Cape, riders will head out to the popular Marrick Safari about 10km outside Kimberley towards Douglas.  This popular mountain bike route on challenging mountain bike terrain, will require great skills and will make for great spectator value.  Riders can register between 08h30 and 09h45 at the venue and entry fee is R80 for primary school and R90 for high school riders. Moms and dads will also be able to participate in a special 30km or more challenging 60km MTB race on the day. All finishers in the schools category will receive a Spur Schools MTB League medal as well as a Spur burger sponsored by the local Spur.  Diamantveld High School is currently top of the leader board in the high schools division and Newton Primary School for the primary schools. For more information contact Wimpie Geyer on 0828998970 or Erika Venter on 0845522063.

LIMPOPO: Tour de Plot in Limpopo will take place in the Zoological gardens on the Northern edge of Mokopane town.  Riders can look forward to a fast and flat track.  Minimal climbing on loose rocky terrain will make it very interesting. Organisers are expecting a nice big field as pre-entries are already close to 270.  Registration opens at 07h00 and the track will be open for practice from 07h15. Loading shoot opens for first race (Nipper Boys and Girls 8 to 10 years old) at 07h40 with the racing starting at 08h00 and 08h05. At 0815 the loading shoot opens for the Sprog Boys and Girls (11 and 12 years old) with the race start at 08h30. Find more information, results and photographs on https://www.facebook.com/groups/598073653631919/

KZN: Kearsney College will host Saturday’s event with the course incorporating some of the school buildings, sport fields and their conservancy single track for the longer race. Primary schools registration will be from 12h30 to 13h15 with racing starting at 13h30 and prize giving at 15h35.  Entry fee is R50. High school riders can register between 12h30 and 15h15 with course practice scheduled for 15h00-15h20. Racing starts at 15h30 and prize giving will be at 17h00. For more information visithttps://www.facebook.com/KZNschoolsMTB/?fref=ts

For those new to the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League, the League is a programme focused on growing the number of children on mountain bikes by running interschool mountain biking races around the country.    The League consists of 11 South African regions including neighbouring African countries Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho.  Around 60 events take place leading up to the season-ending National Final in Magaliesburg in October.

Follow the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League action on FB at SpurSchoolsLeague, twitter #spurMTBleague and @spurMTBleague or visitwww.amarider.co.za

Six Spur Schools MTB League Races This Weekend

The Spur Schools Mountain Bike League is gaining momentum as riders across South Africa are giving it their all to qualify for the 2016 National Finals in Magaliesburg in October.

On Saturday, 27 August, keen mountain bike riders in six provinces will have another opportunity to generate points to secure their spot on the team and their school’s spot in the finals. Excitement is mounting as schools battle it out for the top positions on the mixed, men’s and ladies’ logs with fierce competition and small point differences at the order of the day.

The League runs on the Olympic Cross Country (XCO) lap racing format whereby participants complete a set number of laps, determined by age category, of a short mountain bike course.  Lap distances vary between 3-5km and the format makes for technical riding and great spectator value.

The Eastern Cape Final will be hosted at Hopewell Conservation Estate with Daniel Pienaar top of the Port Elizabeth log, followed by Pearson and Grey PE. For event details click here http://eastcapemtb.co.za/schools-mtb-league-event-1/

Ficksburg will play host to the third Free State regional race with Grey College top of the log sporting an impressive 399 points, followed by Witteberg High School with 208 points and Ficksburg High School in third place with 170 points.

The fourth race in the North West leg will take place at Wagpos High School in Brits.  Event details can be found on http://www.bikebeat.co.za/event/spur-tour-de-bos-presented-by-anatomic/ and the top five schools to watch are Potchefstroom Gimnasium, Rustenburg High School, Wesvalia High School, Hartebeespoort High School and Hoër Volkskool Potchefstroom.

Penryn College in the Mpumalanga Lowveld will play host to the third Spur Schools Mountain Bike League race, which has been dominated by Lydenburg High School sporting 292 points with closest rival Nelspruit High School in second place with 169 points, Uplands College in third place with 125 points and Rob Ferreira fourth with 105 points.  Top of the Highveld log and overall fifth is Secunda High School with 71 points.

Schools in the Northern Cape will take to the track at 8 Mile Adventure Centre just outside of Kimberley to battle it out.  Currently lying comfortably in first is Diamantveld High with 369 points, Northern Cape High follows in second, Blinkklip High third and Landboudal High School in fourth with 26,25 and 24 points respectively. For event details contact Wimpie on 082 899 8970 or click onhttps://www.facebook.com/150942738293335/photos/a.184664168254525.54719.150942738293335/1070034123050854/?type=3&theater

Top Western Cape schools to watch this weekend are Paul Roos Gimnasium, Parel Vallei High School, Montana High School, DF Malan and HTS Drostdy. Registration for Saturday’s Western Cape event at Montana High School in Worcester will be open from 08h00 to 13h30 and riders must enter 30-40 minutes before their race.   The course will be open for practice from 08h10 to 08h50 with the first primary schools race setting off at 09h00.

Riders will have a second opportunity to test the course between 11h10 and 12h00 when the Sub Junior Boys will start followed by the Youth Men B at 12h40 and the Youth Men A at 13h30.  All the girls (sub junior B, youth A & B, junior) will set off at 14h15 with the Junior Men wrapping up racing at 15h00.  For more information visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za  or contact Amarider’s Michelle du Preez at 021 8844547 or michelle@amarider.co.za

League director, Meurant Botha of Amarider said that the league has been growing at a steady pace with a marked improvement in rider skills as well as a large number of first time participants, which according to him shows that the league is achieving its goals of more kids on bikes as well as competitive participation.

Follow us on Facebook at SpurSchoolsLeague, twitter #spurMTBleague and @spurMTBleague.

MTB Action at Stanford Lake College this Weekend

For the third year running, Stanford Lake College will host the “Spur Tour de Lake” – the second regional Spur Schools Mountain Bike League race of the season in Limpopo and another chance to qualify for the 2016 finals.

The Spur MTB League consists of 11 South African regions including neighbouring African countries Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho who compete for a spot in the season-ending National Final in Magaliesburg in October.

Passionate coach and track builder, Tiaan Fullard has dished up a challenging track amidst the picturesque terrain. Starting at the top sports fields, the track goes down into the valley on the Northern side though the pine plantations. Down in MTB terms means single track, jumps, drop-off’s, rock gardens and river crossings, while the uphill to the finish promises to be a challenge.

The 2 lap short course for the Nippers and Sprogs is less technical, but still demanding placing the emphasis on fun and technique.  The Sub Juniors will also do a shorter course than the big guns racing the final two races.

Louis Trichardt High School is leading the log with 119 points, followed by host school Stanford Lake College in second with 79 points and Merensky High in third with 64 points.  Piet Potgieter High School and PHS Pietersburg High take up fourth and fifth spots.  Pietersburg East is lying first on the primary school log with 122 points.

Registration on Saturday opens at 07h00 and the track will be open for practice from 07h15.  The Nipper Boys will start of the day’s racing at 08h00 followed by Nipper Girls, Sprog Boys and Girls 11 and 12 years old, Sub-Junior Boys and Girls 13 and 14 years old, Youth Boys and Girls 15 and 16 years old with the Junior Boys and Girls wrapping up the day’s racing with an 11h00 and 11h05 start.  Prize giving will be at 12h30.  More info available at Limpopo Schools Cycling – MTB on Facebook.

According to league director, Meurant Botha of Amarider participation at local events has been growing at a steady pace as schools accept mountain biking as a recognized sport.  He also stated that although many kids are finding their competitive edge on their bicycles, the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League’s focus is still to encourage more kids on bikes, more schools in action.  “It is important for all children to enjoy participating whether only starting out or having participated for a couple seasons.   We also urge the regions to support local cycling development programmes and assist more kids to get out and ride,” says Botha.

For more information on the 2016 edition of the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League, visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za, or contact Amarider’s Michelle du Preez at 021 8844547 or michelle@amarider.co.za

Follow us on Facebook at SpurSchoolsLeague, twitter #spurMTBleague and @spurMTBleague.

 

Third Term MTB Racing off to a Thunderous Start

A total of 664 high school mountain bike riders competed in the second Gatueng race of the Spur Schools MTB League.  The event was hosted at Bekker High School in Magaliesburg, which will also play host to the national finals in October.

Racing began with the Sub Juniors where Miguel Moutinho of Midstream College pulled away with a 54 second lead over Christiaan Klopper of Waterkloof High School and Francois Botha of Rustenburg High School in third.  In the girls race it was Jade Slabbert also of Midstream College took line honours with Transvalia team mates Kaylin Gombos and Natalie Long finished second and third.

Youth 15 boys’ race was won by current Series leader, Hennie Van Wyk of Garsfontein High School with DJ Kruger of Transvalia taking second after an exciting sprint finish with Matthiam Hofmann of Waterkloof.  Monique du Toit of Menlopark took her second win of the Gauteng Series and extended her overall Youth 15 category lead. Robin Stewart of Waterkloof was second and Nikola von Staden of Helpmekaar College took third place.

In the Youth 16 girls race Midstream College brought home their third win for the day as well as their third leader’s jersey in the form of Thana Groenewald who amazed everyone by beating the lap times of the top junior women. Azulde Britz of Cornwall Hill College and Rimari Sutton of Garsfontein finished second and third respectively.  JP Lloyd from Zwartkop High School won the Youth 16 boys’ category and received the leader’s jersey for the first time.

The battle was on for the leader jersey in the Junior men’s race with Henry Liebenberg of Menlopark taking the overall lead in the series with his win, followed by Marc Pritzen of Kempton Park High School in second and Jason Abbot of Woodhill College in third.

Saffron Vosloo from Menlopark led from lap one in the Junior Women’s race as she opened a gap over Lynette Benson of Waterkloof High School. She managed to hold that lead during all three laps to take the win and holds on to her Junior Women’s leader jersey.

Menlopark High School are still top of the log with 242 points, followed by Afrikaans Hoër Seunsskool with 234 overall second, Midstreaam overall third with 207 points, Waterkloof in fourth with 192 points and Transvalia in 5th.  Rounding off the top ten schools on the leader board is Garsfontein High (117 points), Montana High School (99 points), Monument High School (96 points) and Zwartkop High School (93 points).

Spur Gauteng Leaders after Tour de Plaas

Junior Men: Henry Liebenberg – Menloparks HS

Junior Women: Saffron Vosloo – Menloparks HS

Youth 16 Boys: JP Lloyd – Zwartkop HS

Youth 16 Girls: Thana Groenewald – Midstream College

Youth 15 Boys: Hennie Van Wyk – Garsfontein HS

Youth 15 Girls: Monique Du Toit – Menlopark HS

Sub Junior Boys: Miguel Moutihno – Midstream College

Sub Junior Girls: Jade Slabbert – Midstream College

The third race in the Gauteng leg of the 2016 Spur Schools Mountain Bike League will take place on 20 August at St Sithians Colleage in Sandton.  For registration queries contact Joanita van Staden at admin@mtbza.co.za.

Keep updated on the league on www.spurmtbleague.co.za and also follow the league on Facebook at SpurSchoolsLeague, twitter #spurMTBleague and @spurMTBleague.

MORE THAN 500 SCHOOLS EXPECTED TO COMPETE IN SPUR SCHOOLS MTB LEAGUE

Eight years into the Spur High Schools Mountain Bike League organisers are anticipating that more than 500 Southern African schools will be represented in the 2016 season, which will run from May to October.

According to league co-ordinator, Meurant Botha of Amarider participation at local events is growing at a steady pace as schools accept mountain biking as a recognized sport – some going as far as building dedicated tracks on school grounds to encourage after school practices and interschool sports days as well as employing coaches and managers to oversee teams.

Although there are many kids finding their competitive edge on their bicycles, the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League’s focus is still to encourage “more kids on bikes, more schools in action”.  It is important for all children to enjoy participating whether only starting out or having participated for a couple seasons.

This year has seen the introduction of Team Spur, James Reid and Ariane Kleinhans, who play the important role of encouraging League riders to follow their dreams and showing the reality of becoming sponsored athletes.  Between competing at their various competitions, they have been mingling with keen riders, sharing valuable tips from how to better skills to handling pressure and form a vital part of the Spur Schools MTB League as they set the tone as role models for the young riders.

For those new to the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League, the League is a programme focused on growing the number of children on mountain bikes by running interschool mountain biking races around the country.

The League consists of 11 South African regions including neighbouring African countries Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho.  Around 60 events take place from May to the season-ending National Final in Magaliesburg in October.

The racing format takes place on a marked track, generally over school fields and dedicated trails, where riders have to complete a certain amount of laps of a course that ranges between 2km-6km.  The distance that needs to be covered is in accordance to the South African Schools Cycling Association rules and regulations.

Each region hosts four events with the exception of the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga who each host three events in their respective regions along with a final.  With the larger regions recording over 600 participants, competition is fierce to earn the coveted selection to the National Final.

The League is facilitated by Amarider, a trails advocacy organization aimed at improving trail opportunities in Southern Africa. The organization uses the League not only to introduce young riders to trails, but also to develop the technical trail riding skills that will make the trails environment a safer and more enjoyable space.   In addition Amarider also provides the necessary support to build local advocacy capacity and develop the regional coordinator teams.

The founding sponsor of the League, Spur Steak Ranches has again committed to a bigger and better season. “Seeing the continued growth of the program is something we as Spur Steak Ranches are very proud of and we are committed to ensure the further development of the League going forward,” said Adam Deane, Brand Activation Manager.

Gearing up for a busy Spur Schools MTB League weekend

With seven events scheduled across seven regions this weekend, the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League is setting the tone for another busy term of racing as riders try to secure a spot in the national finals in October.  To date more than 2000 riders representing 233 schools have participated in the 2016 season.

For riders in Limpopo, Mpumalanga Lowveld, Port Elizabeth and Kwazulu Natal this will be their first 2016 league racing opportunity, while schools in Gauteng, Western and Southern Cape will be looking at logging more points and firming up their positions going into the second race in these regions.  Races will take place on Saturday, 23 July in all regions except KZN, which will be hosted on Sunday, 24 July at Thomas More College in Kloof.

Parel Vallei High School is currently lying overall first on the Western Cape log, with Paul Roos Gimnasium second, DF Malan third, Montana High School in fourth place and HTS Drostdy in fifth.

In Gauteng it is Menlopark High School retaining their top spot as defending champions followed by Afrikaans Hoër Seunsskool overall second, Transvalia High School third, Waterkloof High School in fourth and Midstream College in a close fifth.

York High School is leading the pack in the Southern Cape, followed by Outeniqua High School second, Greenwood Bay College third, Murray High School fourth and Knysna Montessori High in fifth position.

For those new to the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League, the League is a programme focused on growing the number of children on mountain bikes by running interschool mountain biking races around the country as well as in Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho. 

The League is facilitated by Amarider, a trails advocacy organization aimed at improving trail opportunities in Southern Africa. The organization uses the League not only to introduce young riders to trails, but also to develop the technical trail riding skills that will make the trails environment a safer and more enjoyable space.  

First time league participants in the Western Cape between the ages of 15 and 17 who are keen to give the league a try, will have the unique opportunity this weekend to compete in a fun MOB Race at Bloemendal Wine Estate at 11h10 before the course practice for competing high school riders at 11h40.  Riders can enter on Saturday at a cost of R50.

For entry and event details in the respective regions, visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za, or contact Amarider’s Michelle du Preez at 021 8844547 or michelle@amarider.co.za.  You can also keep up to date by following us on face book at SpurSchoolsLeague, twitter #spurMTBleague and @spurMTBleague.

Schools retain top spots on Spur MTB log

Parel Vallei High School showed their steel at the first race in the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League Western Cape leg logging 479 points to retain the top spot on the mixed team log in which close on 50 schools competed.
Their women’s team also finished first with 160 points, while the Parel Vallei men’s team had to bow the knee with 319 points to defending champions Paul Roos Gimnasium, who is in a comfortable lead on the men’s log with an impressive 460 points and overall second.
DF Malan finished third overall with 266 points, second in the women’s category with 137 points and third in the men’s category with 129 points.
A close third spot on the mixed team log went to Montana with 208 points, while the women’s and men’s team finished respectively third and fourth with 82 and 126 points respectively.
The Western Cape also has a healthy Primary Schools participation with Kenridge logging 412 points to retain the top spot with a strong home schooler contingent snapping the second position with 208 points, followed by Totius in third with 189 points and Eikestad Primary in fourth with 160 points.
League director, Meurant Botha of Amarider said that the league has been growing at a steady pace with a marked improvement in rider skills as well as a large number of first time participants, which according to him shows that the league is achieving its goals of more kids on bikes as well as competitive participation.
“In addition we had three development teams competing from Jonkershoek in Stellenbosch, Elsiesriver and Kayamandi for which the league provides free entries and transport funding assistance. While the key focus of the development programmes is getting more kids on bikes and to drive a better lifestyle and attitude of the local community children through sport, clubs like Songo have riders that are progressing and competing on a higher level as well as still introducing children to riding,” states Botha.
Western Cape riders still have three events in which to generate points to secure a spot in the Spur Schools League National Finals in Magaliesburg in October. The top three mixed teams as well as the top men’s and women’s team and the respective individual categories winners will be invited.
The first sub-junior boys race was won by Samuel Swart of Montana High School followed by team mate WG Van Der Walt in second and Joshua Burger of Parel Vallei in third. Stefke Tolmay of DF Malan High School took line honours in the girls race with Nienke Moster of HTS Drostdy second and Julia Marx of Springfield Covent in third.
Jamie Penfold of Paul Roos Gimnasium rode and exceptional race to finish first in the youth men category followed by Ryan Peter Kellerman of Parel Vallei second and George Ducharme also of Paul Roos in third.
Carla Hollander is in top form and clinched first in the youth women with Michaela Beaton of Rhenish Girls High School second and Emma Bekker of Bloemhof Hoër Meisieskool in third.
The youth men B race was won by Mulder Oosthuizen of DF Malan with Ilan Meintjies of Paul Roos Gimnasium second and Johan Kruger of Durbanville High School in third.
Newcomer to the league, Mia de Villiers of Paarl Girls High had a comfortable win in the youth women with Carla Steyn of Parel Vallei showing good form in second and Nadia van Niekerk of Bridge House securing the third podium position.
The juniors wrapped up the day with Jana Barry of Parel Vallei finishing first in the girls race with Courtney Webb of Westerford High School second and Jessi Nixon of Fishhoek High School third.
In the showstopper race of the day, the junior men had the spectators glued to the track as Matthew Keyser and team mate Joshua De Freitas of Parel Vallei High School really pushed hard for the win, but it was Matthew who game through strongest in the end. Robert Hobson of Paul Roos Gimnasium was third.
Online entries for the second Western Cape Spur Schools MTB Race to be hosted on Saturday, 23 July at Bloemendal Wine Estate just outside Durbanville are now open so be sure to visit the website www.spurmtbleague.co.za for details.
For more information on the league, visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za, or contact Amarider’s Michelle du Preez at 021 8844547 or michelle@amarider.co.za
Follow us on face book at SpurSchoolsLeague, twitter #spurMTBleague and @spurMTBleague.

Enter online for the first Western Cape Spur Schools MTB Race!

Online entries are now open for the first Western Cape Spur Schools Mountain Bike League race, which will take place at Southey Vines Cycle Park in Somerset West on Thursday, 16 June.

Eight years into the Spur High Schools Mountain Bike League organisers are anticipating that more than 500 Southern African schools will be represented in the 2016 season.

Last year saw a total of 1643 riders from 129 schools competing in the Western Cape.  Parel Vallei High School finished top of the mixed teams log with 1422 points, followed by DF Malan with 878 points and Montana in third place with 832 points.  Paul Roos Gymnasium finished overall second and comfortably first in the boys category with 1047 points.

The Western Cape also has a healthy Primary Schools participation with Kenridge logging 1157 points to secure the top spot in 2015 with Durbanville second with 678 points and Totius in third with 549.

According to league director, Meurant Botha of Amarider participation at local events has been growing at a steady pace as schools accept mountain biking as a recognized sport.  “Some schools are going as far as building dedicated tracks on school grounds to encourage after school practices and interschool sports days as well as employing coaches and managers to oversee teams.  I think we can look forward to kicking off the season with strong racing and fierce competition at the first Western Cape event on the fast technical track at Southey Vines,” says Botha.

Parents are urged to register with Amarider on www.amarider.co.za and pre-enter riders online to streamline race day activations and also track individual results and times throughout the season.  It’s as easy as, parent logs on or registers, clicks on event, registers child’s profile (if they don’t have one), selects the race distance and follows the prompts.

Online entries close on Sunday, 12 June at midnight at a cost of R60 for Primary School age categories and R70 for High School categories.  Late entries will open on race day at the additional fee. Parents are also urged to download and complete the indemnity form at www.spurmtbleague.co.za – bring it along to the event.  The course guideline can be found on the website and lap distances and information will be provided on race day. 

Registration will run from 08h30 – 13h30, while the course will be open for practice from 08h30 – 09h30 with the first race (Sub Nippers) setting off at 09h30.  Nipper boys and girls will start at 10h00 and 10h05 respectively followed by the Sprog boys and girls at 10h30 and 10h35 – Sprog girls.  Sub-junior boys A and the sub-junior girls A will set off at 11h00 and 11h05.

High school riders will have 11h40 – 12h10 for a course practice with the sub-junior boys B starting at 12h15, followed by youth men B at 12h45 and youth men A at 13h20.  The sub-junior, youth and junior girls will all race together at 14h00 and the junior men will wrap up the day’s racing at 14h45.

For those new to the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League, the League is a programme focused on growing the number of children on mountain bikes by running interschool mountain biking races around the country.  As the riders are representing their school at these events, organisers are strongly advising that school cycling kit to be worn. 

The League consists of 11 South African regions including neighbouring African countries Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho.  Around 60 events take place from May to the season-ending National Final in Magaliesburg in October.

The League is facilitated by Amarider, a trails advocacy organization aimed at improving trail opportunities in Southern Africa. The organization uses the League not only to introduce young riders to trails, but also to develop the technical trail riding skills that will make the trails environment a safer and more enjoyable space. According to Amarider’s director, Meurant Botha, it is equally important to build local advocacy capacity and seeing the regional coordinator teams develop is very exciting.

“Although there are many kids finding their competitive edge on their bicycles, the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League’s focus is still to encourage more kids on bikes, more schools in action.  It is important for all children to enjoy participating whether only starting out or having participated for a couple seasons.   We also urge the regions to support local cycling development programmes and assist more kids to get out and ride,”concludes Botha.

For more information on the 2016 edition of the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League, visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za, or contact Amarider’s Michelle du Preez at 021 8844547 or michelle@amarider.co.za

Provisional results will be on www.trailtag.co.zaand school logs will be uploaded to www.spurmtbleague.co.za and www.bikehub.co.za

Follow us on face book at SpurSchoolsLeague, twitter #spurMTBleague and @spurMTBleague.

Gauteng set for another great schools mountain biking season

With more than 500 schools expected to compete nationally in the 2016 Spur High Schools Mountain Bike League, Gauteng based schools will give it their all from the outset to secure their spot for the national final in October.

Gauteng is leading the national log in terms of numbers, boasting an impressive 2,498 riders representing 83 schools in the 2015 season and a record 661 riders competing in the biggest regional one day event since the inception of the league. Gauteng also holds the title of Spur Schools Mountain Bike League Interprovincial Champions for the past three consecutive years. In another exciting venture, Cycle Lab, has joined the Gauteng team and will have certified skills instructors present during course practices to assist the learners.

This weekend the 2016 Gauteng season will kick off with the Spur Tour de Vaal – presented by Anatomic on Saturday, 21 May at Phoenix High School in Vereeniging. Online entries can be done via the MTBZA app at a cost of R95. Riders can also enter for all four Gauteng events at a fee of R340. Only learners from grade 8 to 12 from Gauteng High Schools are allowed to enter the league. As the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League is an inter-schools competition, home schoolers can unfortunately not qualify.

Registration will take place on Friday and the full route with all obstacles will be open for practice from 14h00 to 18h00.  Learners need to register and have their number boards on their bikes before they can practice the route.

Coaches, teachers, parents and team managers will be allowed to inspect the route, but need to collect a special number board from registration before entering the course.  ER24 will be present during the course practice on Friday.

 Registration on Saturday will be at 07h00 with the first race for sub-junior boys setting off at 08h30, followed by all four girl categories (Sub Junior Girls; Youth 15 Girls; Youth 16 Girls and Junior Women) at 09h30, youth boys 15 at 10h30, youth boys 16 years at 11h30 and the junior men wrapping up racing at 12h30 with prize giving at 13h30.

 According to league co-ordinator, Meurant Botha of Amarider participation at local events is growing at a steady pace as schools accept mountain biking as a recognized sport – some going as far as building dedicated tracks on school grounds to encourage after school practices and interschool sports days as well as employing coaches and managers to oversee teams.

 “Although there are many kids finding their competitive edge on their bicycles, the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League’s focus is still to encourage more kids on bikes and more schools in action.  It is important for all children to enjoy participating whether only starting out or having participated for a couple seasons,” says Botha.   

 This year has seen the introduction of Team Spur, James Reid and Ariane Kleinhans, who play the important role of encouraging League riders to follow their dreams and showing the reality of becoming sponsored athletes.  Between competing at their various competitions, they have been mingling with keen riders, sharing valuable tips from how to better skills to handling pressure and form a vital part of the Spur Schools MTB League as they set the tone as role models for the young riders. 

For those new to the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League, the League is a programme focused on growing the number of children on mountain bikes by running interschool mountain biking races around the country. 

The League consists of 11 South African regions including neighbouring African countries Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho.  Around 60 events take place from May to the season-ending National Final in Magaliesburg in October.

 The racing format takes place on a marked track, generally over school fields and dedicated trails, where riders have to complete a certain amount of laps of a course that ranges between 2km-6km.  The distance that needs to be covered is in accordance to the South African Schools Cycling Association rules and regulations.

 The League is facilitated by Amarider, a trails advocacy organization aimed at improving trail opportunities in Southern Africa. The organization uses the League not only to introduce young riders to trails, but also to develop the technical trail riding skills that will make the trails environment a safer and more enjoyable space. In addition Amarider also provides the necessary support to build local advocacy capacity and develop the regional coordinator teams.

2016 Spur Schools Mountain Bike League Fires Up

Scholars in the Northern Cape are pumping tyres, checking gears and calming the butterflies ahead of the opening round of the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League on Saturday. Theirs is the first region to kick off the 2016 season that will ultimately see more than 10,000 participants get a taste for the singletrack life.

The 2016 Spur Schools Mountain Bike League season marks eight years of the ground-breaking cycling program, which now proudly includes over 480 Southern African schools. Participation at the 60 nationwide events continues to grow and schools across the region now actively promote mountain biking as a school sport.

The top Spur League schools have invested heavily in mountain biking: many have built dedicated mountain bike trails on school grounds and neighbouring parks, encourage training rides after school, and even boast coaches and team managers.

The Spur Schools League boldly aspires to get “more kids on bikes, more schools in action”. It caters for all ages and skill levels, promotes a fun and social environment and actively encourages first-time riders to get involved. Yet as the League matures a healthy rivalry between riders and schools is also emerging and the top age groups are already racing at a ferocious pace. And so they should – there is far more than bragging rights at stake these days.

The Spur Schools Mountain Bike League consists of 11 South African regions, and includes schools from our African neighbours Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho. The League begins in May and culminates in a glorious weekend of interschool competition at the National Final held at Bekker School, Magaliesburg in early October. Riders are divided into age groups and race laps of a marked track, typically 2-6km in length. Each region hosts three or four events, with the larger regions attracting upwards of 600 participants at their races. Earning selection to the coveted National Final is understandably fierce.

In order to foster healthy competition, promote teamwork and increase participation in the League, winners of each age category, boys and girls divisions, at the Spur League Final receive R10 000 for their school. While Spur’s intention is to reward entrants by contributing to their schools’ educational needs, teams are free to make use of their winnings where they see fit.

An added incentive in 2016 is the opportunity to engage with top local mountain bikers Ariane Kleinhans and James Reid, professional riders for the newly-formed Team Spur. Ariane and James are pursuing an international racing calendar that includes high-profile events such as the Absa Cape Epic, UCI World Cup series and the Rio Olympics. Dedicated to inspiring the next generation of young mountain bike superstars,the pair will be sharing their tips and advice with parents and scholars throughout the year, and joining the best riders at the Spur League Final in the Magaliesburg in October.

The League is facilitated by Amarider, a mountain bike trail advocacy organisation aimed at improving trail opportunities in Southern Africa. “We use the League to introduce young riders to trails and develop their technical trail riding skills, making a safer riding environment and a more enjoyable space,” says Amarider’s director, Meurant Botha. “It is equally important that we build local advocacy capacity, and seeing the regional coordinator teams develop their trail management and event management skills is very exciting.”

The founding sponsor of the League, Spur Steak Ranches has again committed to a bigger and better season. “Seeing the continued growth of the program is something we are extremely proud of. We are committed to supporting the League’s growth into the future,” says Adam Deane, Spur Brand Activation Manager.

For more information on the Spur Schools Mountain Bike League, contact Amarider:
Michelle du Preez
021 8844547
michelle@amarider.co.za
www.spurmtbleague.co.za

Join James at the PMB MTB Festival Schools Challenge

The race for Olympic qualification is reaching a crescendo, with an all-important three-way qualifying showdown at the Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival on Saturday, 30 April. Our James Reid is bringing his A-game to ensure he can proudly wear the Green and Gold jersey in Rio de Janeiro in August!

If you’d like to catch up with the super-quick XCO Champion and get some pointers on how to tackle the Spur Schools MTB League, which starts in May, join us on Sunday and Monday this long weekend.

James will be taking the young and hungry future MTB stars on a lap of his old hometown track at Cascades MTB Park in Pietermaritzburg.

For details on when and where, check out our events page.