“If you have a dream then you are going towards something, you are working towards that goal. It’s important to think and try and figure out what do you want? This answer will stop you from floating aimlessly. If I get out of bed I know what I want to achieve. It’s important to find that. Make use of the opportunity to learn and grow, keep going and keep working hard.”
Namibia’s renowned road cyclist, Dan Craven, says to the Physically Active Youth (P.A.Y) Centre, in Katutura when he visited them. One of their popular sports codes that the centre drives is cycling, Dan Craven being a Namibian cycling hero took the time to share his experience and answer questions that the young aspiring cyclists had about the sport. Dan explained to a group of buzzing P.A.Y. youths that he now rides professionally for a team in France, although he lives in Spain. After hard work and dedication, he was spotted by a talent scout and now carries the pride of Namibia wherever he races around the world.
When asked what motivates him, Craven says: “Cycling is my passion. I want to be the best cyclist I can be. It’s my dream, it’s what I live for. If you find your passion and you are committed, the little progress you make will keep you motivated. Another thing that motivates me is that – I am not only Dan Craven, I am representing Namibia and I am proud of that. It is very important for me and that motivates me to be my best.”
Craven explains that it took him four years before he could consider cycling full time when he was at university but discovered cycling in Grade 11 while schooling in Otjiwarongo. He refreshes the youth that dreams are bigger than feelings. “Remind yourself as to why you are at school or training. Even if it’s to become a doctor, then you know you have to learn today, the dream is bigger than the feeling of being not in the mood, or want to go out partying,” he motivates.
Dan last year became the first Namibian to be signed up by a top professional team when he joined Team Europcar. P.A.Y. is a youth centre that has become a recognised platform in meeting the development needs of young adolescents. Through their programmes (sports and after school assistance) they are contributing significantly in positively shaping the children’s lives who spend time at the centre. The visit was facilitated by Nedbank who have over the years supported the P.A.Y. cycling sports code. P.A.Y.’s mission is to use education and sports to turn Katutura from “the place where we do not want to live” into a “place where we stay”.