picture: fuad esack
Loyiso Fulu, 19, a matric pupil from Usasazo High School debuted in this year’s race with his partner, Mthetheleli Boya, 25, a fourth-year sports management student at Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
The duo, who took part in the gruelling eight-day-long race, are the latest in a long line of talented riders produced at Velokhaya.
Boya, who completed his second Cape Epic, said he has been a part of the Velokhaya family since he was 16.
Velokhaya Life Cycle Academy board member Luthando Kaka, himself a product of Velokhaya, said the two are riding quite well considering they are a new pairing for the event.
“Most of the time, they ride a road bike so it’s new for them to be in a mountain bike event.
“For newbies, they are doing quite well and, of course, this is the start to something great for them,” he said.
Kaka said that in April they will be among eight Velokhaya riders taking part in the Tour of Limpopo
He said that Velokhaya is about more than just cycling. It has an information communication and technology (ICT) centre, a mini library and a mechanics workshop.
“It’s a conducive environment with what we are trying to achieve. We have about 200 cyclists, but only 80 have bikes, and some are using commuter bikes. We have developed a running programme for those without bicycles. We also have a full-time teacher based at Velokhaya to help with school work.
Kaka said part of their aim is to get the youngsters off the streets after school, to give them something to better their lives, while fighting to eradicate alcohol and drug abuse.
“We always say to them that they must never allow their current circumstances or past events to put them down. They must work hard and think positive,” said Kaka.