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06 Oct, 2015

Bike race reaches out to communities

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With a strong focus on Ride for a Purpose, the Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge is committed to running an event that contributes to the sustainable development of stakeholders and partners.

Since moving to Riversands Commercial Park last year, The Diepsloot community has become a new partner and the event is working with the community on a number of projects that will create employment, enable skills transfer and allow for ongoing, open communication between the Cycle Challenge and Diepsloot residents.

According to the race director Tanya Harford, “Diepsloot residents are proud of their community and feel that they are best placed to work at the Cycle Challenge. As a result, for example, we have asked the cleaning company we used to source at least 50% of their manpower for the Cycle Challenge from Diepsloot – through the liaison officer at Riversands Incubation Hub.”

The Riversands Incubation Hub was established as a partnership between Century Property Developments and The Jobs Fund to transform the socio-economic environment of Diepsloot.

It has programmes to nurture small and micro enterprises (SMEs) – mainly, but not exclusively to people in Diepsloot – by mentoring and supporting them to become fully-fledged, formal businesses.

Through the Hub, the Cycle Challenge will ensure that appropriate candidates are trained and accredited to complete a number of roles that are required for an event of this size.

Tanya says, the relationship between the Cycle Challenge and the Diepsloot community will be an ongoing one. “The Cycle Challenge will be held at the Riversands Commercial Park for the next 9 years and we want the Diepsloot community to benefit from this event which is held in their back yard.”

At the Hub the local caterer/restaurant owner will be supplying all staff meals for the duration of the organisers stay on site – 16 working days as well as meals for the JOC and contractors.

The Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge is already an important fixture for many residents, especially those belonging to the Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy, which teaches kids to fix bikes and then provides them with their very own one so that they can cycle whenever they want.

These young adults will be helping out as marshals during the Momentum 947 Mountain Bike Challenge. Their entries to the main race have also been covered by the organisers to give the kids maximum exposure to world class road and off-road races.

In addition to skills transfer, the event is also in ongoing discussions with community leaders to ensure that the residents of Diepsloot are included in the logistics arrangements around the event, to minimize disruption on the day.

One of Diepsloot’s ward councilors, Mr Rogers Makhubale is facilitating meetings with the local taxi association to advise them of suggested routes into and out of the township to ease congestion on the roads and organisers are meeting with the ward councilors regularly to keep them updated on plans.

The Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge takes place on 15 November 2015 at Riversands Commercial Park.