Pick n Pay celebrates ten years of creating young cyclists with Velokhaya

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This year is a momentous year for Pick n Pay which, as a sponsor of the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour is celebrating the 10th year of partnership with the Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy.

Since 2003, Pick n Pay has been a proud sponsor and partner of the Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy – a project that encourages youths from disadvantaged areas to get off the streets and onto bicycles. Pick n Pay has been raising funds for the donation of bicycles, equipment and biking gear.

“This year 80 Velokhaya youth riders, the youngest of which is 13 years old, will embark on the famous 106km cycle race, donning the brand new commemorative Pick n Pay race kit which they all received last week. As is tradition, the Velokhaya riders ride the race as a group and have become one of the major features of the day as riders look out for the recognisable pack of young inspirational South Africans,” explains Malcolm Mycroft, General Manager Marketing from Pick n Pay.

According to Mycroft, in order to prepare the youths for the gruelling fitness test, Velokhaya cyclists are encouraged to train all year and follow a special training programme for the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour. This involves up to 3 hours of training a day for some of the fitter riders and even the youngest cyclists are guided through some very intensive training prior to the race.

To further mark the 10 year anniversary of Pick n Pay’s support of this initiative, Velokhaya’s Zanele Tshoko has been selected as the 2014 Pick n Pay LikeBike ambassador. “Zanele is testament to the success of the Velokhaya story and was one of six Velokhaya cyclists and the only female cyclist to be invited to the 2007 Tour de France to raise awareness for Velokhaya. She was also the only female Velokhaya elite athlete to compete at the SA cycling championships held in Durban in February 2014 and is the perfect representative of the success we are proud of at Velokhaya,” says Mycroft.

As the LikeBike ambassador, Zanele will be powering the official Pick n Pay LikeBike at the Cycle Tour. This is to encourage South Africans to donate cycling gear and equipment to the Velokhaya initiative by placing them in dedicated bins at the expo and at the finish. Furthermore, Pick n Pay shoppers are encouraged to donate smart shopper points to Velokhaya and Pick n Pay has pledged to match the amount of points donated between 19 February and 9 March.

“The aim of the Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy is to deter youngsters from gangsterism and crime by keeping them busy after school with cycling. Competitive cycling also teaches them important life skills such as discipline, determination, dedication and teamwork and we are so proud to have been involved with such inspirational youths for ten years. It makes this year a particularly special race for us as sponsors,” says Mycroft.

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