The Spur School Mountain Bike League cemented its position as one of the leading sport development programmes in the country when it was shortlisted as a finalist for the 2014 Discovery Sport Industry Awards.
Launched in 2009 as a joint initiative between Spur and AmaRider, the league has shown a 45% year-on-year growth and has exceeded all initial projections in terms numbers and reach. The league has grown explosively and has expanded from 900 entries and 20 events in 2009 to 7 506 entrants taking part in 52 events hosted in nine South African provinces as well as neighbouring countries Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho.
League co-ordinator Meurant Botha of AmaRider attributes the amazing growth of the league to the hands-on involvement of Spur Steak Ranches as well as the efforts of a team of dedicated regional organisers and school co-ordinators. He further states that one of the key objectives of the league is to leave a legacy for participants by building tracks on school property or community grounds.
“We are really happy with the steady growth of the league in terms of participants, more regional events and new tracks being developed in collaboration with schools and municipalities. The figures for 2013 have shot up to more than 7 000 entries. The level of competition has also improved significantly since the launch of the league five years ago,” says Botha.
The Spur School Mountain Bike League final is also considered an interprovincial derby with the top cycling teams from across South Africa vying for the coveted interprovincial floating trophy.
According to Spur Market Development Manager Andrew Cronje, the group is delighted to be a part of grassroots mountain-biking development at school level. “We are really proud to be associated with the league as it not only provides a platform for schools to compete in a structured way, but is also playing a key role in growing mountain-biking as a sport discipline,” said Cronje.
“We would love to see mountain-biking acknowledged as an official school sport. Being nominated for the official shortlist of the most respected and prestigious sport industry event in Africa will most certainly support this endeavour,” concludes Cronje.
The Dreamfields Project walked away with the coveted title in the Sport Development Programme of the Year category of the Discovery Sport Industry Awards, while other nominees included the Powerade Performance Sessions with John Mitchell, NBA Royal Bafokeng Jr. Programme, SARU – Vodacom Cup 2013 ‘Tjovitjo’ and SuperSport Let’s Play.
The 2014 Spur School Mountain Bike league starts in March and will culminate with the final at Bekker School in October.
For more information on the Spur School Mountain Bike League click here.