Ottery youth get cycling lessons

A partnership between two non-profit organisations is teaching youngsters cycling – and life skills.

The Ottery-based Africa Jam Youth Outreach and Our Fertile Ground, based in Woodstock, started a cycling programme last year, to teach 10 youth how to cycle.

The initiative is one of the many events aiming to teach life skills to the youth.

Eugene Ohlson, programme manager of Africa Jam Youth Outreach, said they trained every second weekend until September, then trained every weekend for their planned a cycle tour from Muizenberg to Hermanus, held from December 6 to December 9.

The youth from Ottery and Khayelitsha were committed to their training and enjoyed the new sport, he said.

“Africa Jam Youth Outreach selected the youth and Our Fertile Ground provided the mountain bikes and cycling wear.”

“The youth were taught road safety, how to keep a safe following distance, hand signals, how to change gears while riding and how to work as a team. The coaches led by Robert Shea from Our Fertile Ground made sure the youth learnt the basics of cycling and grow stronger by every month,” said Mr Ohlson.

The areas they trained stretched from Table View to Bloubergstrand and back and Muizenberg to Simon’s Town and back (about 40km a day).

Mr Ohlson added: “The cycle tour was the highlight of the year for the youth (and) the distance covered was about 150km. Although the tour was physically challenging, they remained positive as they were desperate to achieve their goal of making it to Hermanus from Muizenberg.

“We believe that through completing this tough cycle tour, our youth can face any challenge and know it is possible to overcome it.”

For more information on the cycling programme, contact Mr Ohlson on 021 422 5117 or 082 292 8625.