As we reflect on the past year, we once again remember our cyclists and other sports persons who passed away during the course of the year. Our thoughts are with their families and friends. May their souls rest in peace.
The Rio 2016 Olympics dominated the sporting world over the past year, with our riders giving a good account of themselves with some great performances. The highlight for us no doubt was Ernst van Dyk’s gold medal in the H5 road race at the Paralympics – a huge achievement for him along with his great performances on the wheelchair-racing scene. So, on the sporting front we can look back and reflect on yet another successful year – Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka being very successful on the WorldTour along with great performances by Louis Meintjes and Daryl Impey; Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio shining on the Women’s WorldTour; our MTB Downhill icon Greg Minnaar once again showing his class on the Downhill World Cup circuit.
All our riders are great ambassadors for our sport and our country and we have to continue supporting them in the best way possible for them to achieve even greater success.
It is fitting that we now plot the road ahead for the next Olympic cycle so that our riders can improve on their performances as well as us unearthing new talent. There will definitely be a renewed focus on grass roots talent identification with sustainable development programmes. Our youth should be inspired by the great performances by our riders. The prospect of being part of Team South Africa at the Durban 2022 Commonwealth Games should be a huge motivating factor for all our youth.
With another successful year behind us, we can all take a well-deserved break for the festive season. Now is the time for us all to relax and spend some time with our loved ones and come back refreshed in the New Year, which promises to be even more exciting and successful.
I wish you all a very happy and safe festive season and a prosperous New Year. If you are driving, do so with care. Also be extra cautious out there while riding your bicycles.
Happy holidays and safe cycling!