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Sport
Teen riders, enter Spur MTB now

Young mountain bikers, get ready to saddle up!

Entries for this season’s Spur Schools MTB League are open and the league, celebrating its 10th anniversary, promises to be bigger and better.

Since its inception in 2009, the event has grown in leaps and bounds, with 1 590 rider entries and 115 participating schools in the first season to 12 722 entries and 496 schools last year. And this season will be no different, with organisers expecting a 20 to 30% increase in rider entries.

Meurant Botha, director of the league’s principal organiser Amarider, says the initiative aims to introduce more school-going children to MTB and encourage schools to adopt it as an official school sport, while also providing regional and national structures at school level.

“Offering MTB as a school sport is the perfect opportunity for those children who lack ball skills to be active and participate in a sport that is fun,” he explains, adding that schools well-known for their traditional sport strength have now become top MTB schools.

“Specialised staff and coaches have been employed to help build tracks on which to practise and to ensure children maintain a rigorous training programme.”

To date, the league has established a presence in all nine provinces. “Every province has been running a full MTB calendar, which is great news,” Botha says. “Parents and children particularly enjoy this sport because everyone can participate and have fun, whether on a competitive or social level. It’s also a good way of getting children onto the saddle and away from a mobile device.”

The league was also the start of great things for Alan Hatherly, who was part of the South African team at the Commonwealth Games in Australia last month. He won a bronze medal in the men’s cross country MTB race at the games.

Alan participated in five league events at high school and is part of Team Spur – a group of talented riders serving as mentors and motivational speakers for league riders.

To enter the Spur Schools MTB League, parents are required to complete the online registration process before entering any riders into the regional events.

The first 2 000 registered riders will receive a R50 Spur voucher. Visit www.spurmtbleague.co.za.

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