The Western Cape wrapped up an exciting 2019 Spur Schools Mountain Bike League (SSMTBL) season with a record number of 1025 entries this weekend.
Host school Paul Roos Gimnasium continued their winning streak of the past 11 years and walked off as the winner in the boys and overall categories with a seasonal total of 1985 points. This victory was spearheaded by Ben Puddu, who ascribes their success to the absolute commitment from the riders and the fact mountain biking is accredited as an official school sport by Paul Roos. “We have consistently developed the sport over the past 11 years and have managed to build great depth in the team with 30 new intakes signing up for mountain biking this year”, said Puddu – a teacher at the school and keen mountain biker himself.
Another league stalwart, Parel Vallei High School in Somerset West finished second overall with 1155 points with the boys placing second and the girls finishing in fourth position. Durbanville High School took the third slot in the overall competition with 808 points with their boys third on the podium and their girls team placing fourth.
Rhenish Girls High School showed great consistency this year and won the female category of the Western Cape leg with 237 points followed by HTS Drostdy in second with 157 and Durbanville High School in a close third with 155 points.
Filling the fourth to tenth slot overall were HTS Drostdy, DF Malan High School, Montana High School, Hermanus High School, Rhenish Girls High, SACS College and Curro Hermanus. The Boys teams from HTS Drostdy and DF Malan have also qualified for the national finals.
According to Khakhi Diala, Spur Group Sponsorship & Events Manager, the SSMTBL is achieving its goal of getting kids on bikes having hit a record number of 18757 entries for the 2019 season. “This is a true testament of the growth and development shown in mountain biking over recent years. It is also great to see a noticeable expansion of the league’s footprint with schools from Langebaan, Hermanus, Macassar, Bonteheuwel and Worcester competing in the Western Cape leg of the league,” concluded Diala.
WESTERN CAPE SSMTBL OVERALL CATEGORY WINNERS
- Sub Junior Boys: Alec Coleske (DF Malan HS); Luke Craig Kavanagh (Curro Hermanus HS); Philip George van Schalkwyk (Paul Roos Gimnasium HS).
- Sub Junior Girls: Christelle Joubert (HTS Drostdy); Olivia Penfold (Rhenish Girls HS); Mishka Tineke Bridger (La Rochelle Girls HS)
- Junior Men: Johan Van Zyl (HTS Drostdy); Matthew Lochner (Paul Roos Gimnasium HS); Joshua Burger (Parel Vallei HS)
- Junior Women: Stefke Tolmay (DF Malan HS); Nienke Mostert (HTS Drostdy); Michaela Beaton (Rhenish Girls HS)
- Youth Men 15: Henning Venter (Paul Roos Gimnasium HS); Vincent Buter (Parel Vallei HS); Roche Malherbe (Durbanville HS)
- Youth Men 16: Aidan Penfold (Paul Roos Gimnasium HS); Luca Ruwiel (DF Malan HS); Philip Kotze (Durbanville HS)
- Youth Women 15: Anna Marx (Springfield Convent HS); Anna-Mart Klem (Durbanville HS); Kayleigh Stevenson (Rhenish Girls HS)
- Youth Women 16: Andrea Schofmann (Rhenish Girls HS); Mika Leigh Nisbet (Parel Vallei HS); Danielle Barnard (Durbanville HS)
Based on a national weighting system, the Western Cape qualifies 5 boys and 5 girls teams for the SSMTBL finals to be hosted at Wagpos High School outside Brits in the North West Province from 26-28 September.
The champion primary school for 2019 was Kenridge (1143 points) with Van Riebeeckstrand second (1097) and Paarl Boys in third place with (525). Also in the top ten ranking are Durbanville PS, Totius PS, Eversdal PS, Paarl Gimnasium, Applewood, Kayamandi PS and Beaumont PS.
Annelize Ziehl-Owens, president of the official governing body of Schools Cycling South Africa (SCSA) stated that this was a phenomenal year for Schools Cycling across the country. “More schools are joining the ‘magic’ of Schools Cycling as a team sport and are in the process of getting their structures in place to accommodate cycling as an official school sport. A big thank you goes out to all the Provincial Schools Cycling committees, team managers, coaches and parent representatives for their hard work this season as well as the Schools League and our main sponsor, Spur for their commitment and support,” said Ziehl-Owens.
“With Schools Cycling SA and the League’s shared objectives SCSA is looking forward to this powerful collaboration. Together we can secure Schools Cycling’s future creating healthier children and families. SCSA would also like to work more closely with the department of Education and Sports and Recreation in 2020 to encourage, promote and develop the Sport,” concluded Ziehl-Owens.