17 Years of cycling development

Kyle Martin from Heideveld on the Cape Flats and Eduardo Engelbrecht from Piketberg on the West Coast are two of several cyclists who have excelled through the Nedbank Sports Trust Cycling Development Programme.

They joined the program while at school and rose to become part of an elite team of Western Cape development cyclists, predominantly from the Cape Flats and Piketberg.

“They have incredible potential and there are so many more young cyclists like them. Through the programme, we have the structures in place to nurture young cyclists, provide them with the right equipment and develop talent,” says the manager of the programme, Mike Tippett.

The program has been funded by Nedbank since 2005. It supports up to 200 cyclists annually in 10 high schools in the Boland, Cape Metro (predominantly the Cape Flats) and West Coast.

“Identifying and developing cycling talent is part of the program but the other part is to encourage learners to join and enjoy the sport, live healthy lifestyles and do well at school,” says Tobie Badenhorst, Head of Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing at Nedbank.

For many of the cyclists in the programme, life is extremely hard. At 23, Kyle is the breadwinner in his family as his mother passed away when he was young and his aunt during the Covid-19 pandemic. He now needs financial assistance to pursue a national certificate in human resource management.

Martin joined the program in 2013 while attending Phoenix Secondary School in Manenberg, Cape Flats. From Grade 10 to 12 he was the captain of their cycling team. “The program has been so good for me since the first day I started,” Martin explains. “I got into cycling when I saw some other guys riding at my school and I was curious. I joined them and took to it immediately. Ten years later, it’s all about the love of the sport and to just keep going.”

Growing up on the Cape Flats isn’t easy, he explains, ‘but the program kept me away from making the wrong decisions. I developed leadership skills, and it gave me the opportunity to prove myself in major cycling events in the Western Cape, including the Cape Town Cycle Tour, Western Cape Championships, Oudtshoorn Youth Festival, and the Coronation Double Century.’

Eduardo Engelbrecht (23) joined the program in 2016 while at Steynville Senior Secondary School in Piketberg on the West Coast. Two years later he came second in the 2018 Western Cape Mountain Bike Championship (open age group). With a string of gold and silver medals to his name, he says he was honored to be selected by The Sports Trust Cycling Development Program to take part in national events like the South African National Road and Time Trial Championship.

‘For the past six years there has never been a dull moment,’ says Engelbrecht. ‘The Nedbank Sports Trust Development Cycling Program has supported me and my fellow cycling friends in every way. For me this program is like my second home.’

Engelbrecht has been accepted into the Western Cape Agriculture Program on a two-year bursary to study towards a diploma in agriculture. At the same time his dream of him is also to be a professional cyclist. Through the cycling programme, this dream is being made possible, he says.

He is now a member of the Stellenbosch-based Fairtree Cannondale Racing Team and is looking forward to taking part in his third Wines2Whales event in November 2022 and his second Cape Epic event in April 2023.

Whenever he can, he heads back home to Piketberg and assists with the cycling development program there, training other learners and helping them hone their cycling skills.

There are thousands of learners whom Nedbank and the Sports Trust would like to attract to cycling and we encourage you to open a Nedbank account and join the Nedbank Sport Affinity. When you use any of your accounts linked to the Sport Affinity, Nedbank donates money to fund sport development, talent identification and transformation into under resourced communities at no cost to you.

“We are a proud supporter of community development and through our investment in sport, we aim to inspire the youth to strive towards their goals, to impact their communities positively and to create a better society for all,” says Badenhorst.

To contact the Sports Trust:
Carol Crawford, Marketing and Communications Manager 082 802 2899, or Mike Tippett, Manager of the Sports Trust Cycling Development Programme, on 062 159 1011.

Support: You can help support the development of sport in South Africa by endorsing the Nedbank Sports Affinity program in disadvantaged communities. The future sports stars of our nation have also been equipped through the investment of multipurpose sport courts, soccer and training kits. And you can also donate your Greenbacks to The Sports Trust via the Nedbank Money App. Open up a savings or investment accounts to help push sports limits beyond.

Visit any Nedbank branch or call the Nedbank Contact Center on 0860 555 111 or go to www.nedbanksport.co.za for more information.
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