The first Namibian BMX national championships will take place in Windhoek this coming weekend – when the top cyclists from various regions will participate in two respective age groups (8 and under, 10 and under). The championships will take place at the Katutura Stadium on Saturday morning.
The event forms part of the Namibian Cycling Federation’s (NCF) 5-year development plan to encourage cycling, and notably BMX as a cycling discipline amongst youngsters at grass-roots level.
The Kids on Bikes project is promoted by RMB Namibia through the FNB Namibia Holdings Foundation Trust, and has seen youngsters from Omuthiya, Okahandja, Gobabis and Omaruru participate in the events over the past few months.
At all towns coaches were trained by the NCF to ensure that the project remains ongoing and active in their respective communities. BMX bicycles plus helmets were also handed to the communities, courtesy of RMB Namibia.
Apart from the top riders from the various regions where BMX centres have been established, three teams from Windhoek will participate, namely a combined Kayec/PAY team, a combined Vertigo BMX Club/Suiderhof Primary School team, and Rock Hoppers, bringing the total participants to 80 children.
BMX as a sport is growing steadily in Namibia, with the construction of an additional pump track in Windhoek envisioned for the not too distant future, and an invitation from UCI (the world governing body for sports cycling) to send two under 23 Namibians to a BMX training camp in Switzerland.
The Kids on Bikes events held across Namibia recently have been met with great enthusiasm and support, according to Sally Harper, secretary-general of the NCF, who works together with NCF development officer Hella Rust to deliver the Kids on Bikes project.
“It is super to see so many kids interested in learning to ride BMX bikes, and their enthusiasm during race day competitions. We are especially pleased with the number of girls who have participated and the number of teachers and parents present too.”
Harper continued: “With our main sponsors RMB Namibia through the FNB Namibia Holdings Foundation Trust being present and involved at every event, they (RMB Namibia) personally see the kids’ enormous excitement – and their parents’ enthusiasm and support.”
The project will be expanded in 2017 to include more age groups. The finals will take place on Saturday morning at the Katutura Stadium, starting at 08h00 until lunchtime.