NWU to build world-class cycling track
POTCHEFSTROOM - The North-West University (NWU), in collaboration with the International Cycling Union (ICU), is planning to launch another first in Africa.
Through a joint venture, the NWU and the ICU are planning to build Africa's first world-class indoor cycling track in Potchefstroom.
This track, fitted with a wooden surface, will be used for training and to host international events. Currently, there is no indoor track in Africa with a wooden surface, which is ideal for international events.
This historical milestone is the brainchild of the ICU, the NWU and the Potchefstroom Municipality, aimed at establishing the University and Potchefstroom as the city of expertise in cycling, not only in South Africa, but also on the continent.
At a recent event, international cyclists hailing from countries as far afield as Hungary, Slovakia, Moldavia, Bulgaria, New-Zealand, Algeria, Zambia, Lesotho, Cameroon, Namibia, Mauritius, Sao Tome and Zimbabwe, were introduced to the Mayor of Potchefstroom, Mr Mapethle Maphethle.
These international cyclists are members of the World Cycling Development Team, based in Switzerland, and the African Continental Cycling Centre, based in Potchefstroom.
Also present at the function, was an amateur cycling team cycling from Beit Bridge to Cape Town for the organisation Reach for a Dream.
At the event, Prof Annette Combrink, Rector of the NWU's Potchefstroom Campus, said that the University has forged close ties with cycling during the past few years. “The combination of our good weather, the favourable height above sea level and the top of the range training facilities at our FNB High Performance Institute for Sports makes the NWU the preferred training destination for international cyclists,” Prof Combrink said.
In addition to the HPI facilities, the NWU also assists the cyclists with accommodation, transport and English classes.
According to Mr Jean-Pierre van Zyl, Manager of the African Continental Cycling Centre and former world champion cyclist, 21 development cyclists of this centre are currently training in Potchefstroom. Although this group has only been training here since February 2008, a total of 92 athletes from 25 African countries already completed the elite development programme for Africa since its induction in 2005.
At a recent event international cyclists from the World Cycling Development Team and the African Continental Cycling Centre were introduced to the Mayor of Potchefstroom, Mr Mapethle Maphethle (middle row, centre). On his left is Prof Annette Combrink, Rector of the NWU's Potchefstroom Campus. In the front row, far left, is Mr Jean-Pierre van Zyl, Manager of the African Continental Cycling Centre.
Ms Phumzile Mmope, NWU Institutional Office
Executive Director: Corporate Affairs and Relations
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