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.
“Word on the street has it that the top teams are in full training mode in preparation for the 2016 season as competition becomes more intense year on year. To many riders, it’s not just about hopping onto the bike anymore, but rather honing skills, upping the fitness levels and working on the mental toughness that is required to follow dreams of becoming pro riders,” says Botha.
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 full list of Spur MTB League dates as published.
|7 May||Northern Cape #1||Benfontein||Northern Cape||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|21 May||Gauteng #1||Phoenix High School (Vereeniging)||Gauteng||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|23 May||Northern Cape #2||Magersfontein||Northern Cape||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|28 May||North West #1||Rustenburg HS (Rustenburg)||North West||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|4 June||Free State #1||TBC (Bothaville)||Free State||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|12 June||East London #1||3 Silos Adventure Park||East London||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|16 June||Western Cape #1||Southey Vines Cycle Park (Somerset West)||Western Cape||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|18 June||Southern Cape #1||Oakhill School (Knysna)||Southern Cape||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|3 July||East London #2||Bayville Special School||East London||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|23 July||Gauteng #2||Bekker School (Magaliesburg)||Gauteng||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|23 July||Limpopo #1||Rooi skool (Phalaborwa)||Limpopo||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|23 July||Mpumalanga LV #1||Uplands College (Nelspruit)||Mpumalanga||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|23 July||Port Elizabeth #1||Norm-Hudlin Trails||Port Elizabeth||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|23 July||Southern Cape #2||Cairnbrogie Farm (Plett)||Southern Cape||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|23 July||Western Cape #2||TBC||Western Cape||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|24 July||Kwazulu Natal #1||Thomas More College (Kloof)||Kwazulu Natal||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|30 July||Free State #2||TBC (Bloemfontein)||Free State||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|30 July||North West #2||Hartebeespoort HS||North West||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|6 Aug||Mpumalanga LV #2||Curro (Nelspruit)||Mpumalanga||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|6 Aug||Port Elizabeth #2||Norm-Hudlin Trails||Port Elizabeth||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|13 Aug||Kwazulu Natal #2||Martizburg College||Kwazulu Natal||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|13 Aug||Limpopo #2||Stanford Lake College||Limpopo||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|13 Aug||North West #3||Klerksdorp Show Grounds||North West||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|14 Aug||East London #3||Seavale XCO Track||East London||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|20 Aug||Gauteng #3||St Stithians (Sandton)||Gauteng||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|20 Aug||Mpumalanga HV #1||Curro Bankenveld (Witbank)||Mpumalanga||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|20 Aug||Port Elizabeth #3||HTS Daniel Pienaar (Uitenhage)||Port Elizabeth||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|20 Aug||Southern Cape #3||Montessori (Knysna)||Southern Cape||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|27 Aug||Eastern Cape #7 (Final)||Hopewell Conservation Estate||Port Elizabeth||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|27 Aug||Free State #3||TBC (Ficksburg)||Free State||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|27 Aug||Mpumalanga LV #3||Penryn College (Nelspruit)||Mpumalanga||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|27 Aug||Northern Cape #3||Magersfontein (Kimberley)||Northern Cape||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|27 Aug||North West #4||Brits HS||North West||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|27 Aug||Western Cape #3||HS Montana (Worcester)||Western Cape||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|3 Sept||Kwazulu Natal #3||Northwood Boys High||Kwazulu Natal||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|3 Sept||Limpopo #3||Zoological Gardens (Mokopane)||Limpopo||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|3 Sept||Free State #4||TBC (Welkom)||Free State||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|10 Sept||Mpumalanga HV #2||Lake Umuzi Waterfront (Secunda)||Mpumalanga||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|10 Sept||Southern Cape #4||Mount View (George)||Southern Cape||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|17 Sept||Gauteng #4||Wonderboom HS||Gauteng||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|17 Sept||Limpopo #4||KLF Hanglip Forest (Louis Trichardt)||Limpopo||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|17 Sept||Mpumalanga HV #3||TBC (Ermelo)||Mpumalanga||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|17 Sept||Western Cape #4||Paul Roos Gymnasium (Stellenbosch)||Western Cape||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|24 Sept||Kwazulu Natal #4||Fulton School for the Deaf (Gillitts)||Kwazulu Natal||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|24 Sept||Mpumalanga #7 (Final)||Mankele (Nelspruit)||Mpumalanga||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|8 Oct||National Final||Bekker School (Magaliesburg)||Gauteng||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
|9 Oct||National Final||Bekker School (Magaliesburg)||Gauteng||www.spurmtbleague.co.za|
Photo: Marius Nortjie