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Sport
Schools’ MTB riders saddling up for new season

MTB buffs take note — entries for the largest high school cycling programme are now open.

Entries and registration for the 2018 season of the Spur Schools MTB League are open and the league is set to be better than ever.

This year marks the 10th year since the league’s inception and organisers say the tournament has “grown in leaps and bounds.” It has developed from just 1 590 rider entries and 115 participating schools in 2009 to 12 722 entries and 496 schools in 2017.

According to Meurant Botha, director of Amarider, the league’s principal organiser, the sporting initiative seeks to introduce more school going children to MTB and to encourage South African schools to adopt it as an official in-school sport.

He says the initiative also aims to provide regional and national structure in MTB at school level.

“By offering MTB as a school sport, it’s the perfect opportunity for those children who lack the ball skills that go with soccer, rugby and cricket to be active as well, and participate in a sport that is as much fun,” Botha says.

He says schools throughout the country well-known for their traditional sport strength have now become top MTB schools, with specialised staff and coaches employed to help build tracks on which to practise and ensure children maintain a rigorous training programme.

To date the league has also managed to establish a presence in all nine provinces in the country, which Botha describes as an “outstanding achievement”.

“Every province has been running a full MTB calendar, which is great news,” he says. “Parents and kids 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 kids onto the saddle and away from a mobile device.”

To enter the 2018 Spur Schools MTB League, parents are required to complete the online registration process before entering any riders into the regional events.

Says Botha: “MTB promotes an overall healthy lifestyle and during the past ten years has created a pathway for children to follow their dreams.

“We look forward to the next 10 years and to making some more great MTB memories.”

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