Top SA rider, Willie Smit, donated three bicycles and kit worth over R60 000 on behalf of his sponsor, Alpecin, to the Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy on Wednesday, urging the country to get behind development cycling.
Smit, the 2017 African Continental Champion, has just signed for a second year on the UCI’s Pro World Tour with Team Katusha Alpecin and visited Velokhaya in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, with sponsor Alpecin Caffeine Shampoo which fights hair loss*.
Alpecin, which has a history with cycling dating back several decades, identified a need for bicycles at Velokhaya and joined Smit in a presentation and donation to children and staff at the academy on Wednesday.
Smit shared his rise from a difficult childhood to the pinnacle of global cycling, encouraging the youth not to give up hope and to fight to achieve their dreams.
Velokhaya offers Khayelitsha youth a safe and nurturing venue after the school day for homework and extra lessons and, if they show commitment and determination, an introduction to fitness and cycling programmes.
“We are grateful to be partnering with Alpecin in addressing one of our biggest challenges which is the lack of bicycles,” said Velokhaya MD, Sipho Mona.
“With the involvement of Willie Smit and the world-renowned Alpecin brand, we’re another step closer to making sure that not only our immediate members, but the greater community benefits as this this will bring more members to Velokhaya, thus helping curb the social ills in Khayelithsa”.
“This is a great investment and initiative for the township youth,” Mona added.
Alpecin’s Michael Seefeldt said the company was passionate about cycling and “we hope this donation will contribute to providing hope and empowering the youth at Velokhaya to pursue their passion.”