A total of 61 schools participated in the Mpumalanga leg of the Spur Schools MTB League this year in an attempt to qualify for the national finals at Bekker School in Magaliesberg from 3-4 October to compete for the coveted Spur Schools MTB League trophy and top spot on the provincial log.
Once again Hoërskool Lydenburg has completely dominated the league and wrapped the season as Mpumalanga champions with 728 points. They are ahead by almost as much as Uplands College (363 points) and Nelspruit Hoërskool (337 points) earned to put them in the second and third positions. Secunda High School filled the fourth slot with 307 points and will also compete at the finals. Lydenburg High School has also been the proud winners of the “geesbeker” at the Spur High Schools MTB Final two years running.
The Spur Schools Mountain Bike League was launched in 2009 as a joint initiative between Amarider and Spur Steak Ranches and saw 900 riders participating in only 20 events. Following a phenomenal year-on-year growth the 2015 season is set to reach close on 10 000 riders who competed across Sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa and neighbours Zimbabwe and Namibia.
THE MPU TEAMS
Hoërskool Lydenburg: Mignon Black, Sune Booyse, Constant Furstenberg, Keegan Clark, Joshua Schülz, Donald Hlase, Bongani Ngwana, Stephnie Fritz, Nathan Kurensky, Rikus Booysen, Kaylee Lindeque and Henyo Kruger.
Uplands College: Andreas Kuhn, Kirsty Shuttleworth, Tamryn Hawley, Ryan Terry, Abigail Alexander and Kyla Hamer.
Nelspruit High School: Sisters Mandie and Monique Swart, Armand Lombard, Mike Odendaal, Ruben Helberg and Reyno Beukes.
Secunda High School: Marnique de Swart, Stehan Muller, Bernard Henrico, Daniel van Heerden, Jandre Stander and Reynardt Engelbrecht.
Category winners Zandri Strydom (Cambridge Home School), Luchelle Phillips and Rickardo Broxham (Ermelo Christian School) will also be part of the Mpumalange provincial team.
Conventional mountain biking can be a lonely adventure over terrain that non-cyclists consider dangerous, but the aim of the Spur Schools MTB League is much broader. Promoting cycling as a school sport is part of the deal, so the routes try to balance skill and fitness with fun.
A natural progression of the development of the league has been the establishment of South African Schools Cycling (SASC) headed up by Deon Steyn, as national governing body of the sport. Apart from the further development of regional structures, the major drive for SASC is to lobby with the Department of Education to accredit mountain biking as an official schools sport.