Six teenagers, five of them from Mitchell’s Plain, are off to showcase their spinning talents in Gauteng.
Spinning involves smoking up a storm on the road by turning the car’s steering wheel so that the car turns in
a circle but remains in the
Yusuf Fakier, 15, from The Farm, Wafiq
Oliver, 15, from Westridge;
Aqeel Brown, 17, from Ottery; Junaid van Schalkwyk, 18, from Lentegeur; Dylan Petersen, 17, from New Woodlands; and Ricardo Schaffers, 16, from Lentegeur will be spinning at the South Africa vs Mozambique event in Brakpan on Saturday July 27.
Spinning reportedly has its origins in gang culture, but is now recognised by Motorsport South Africa (MSA), the controlling body for South African motorsport that carries both local and international recognition.
Sean February, 30, from Colorado Park, who ranked sixth in the world, at the championship in Japan almost 10 years ago, has been coaching them.
The boys started spinning less than 10 months ago, at Lentegeur sports field, with the help of Supporting People in Need (SPIN), who have applied for a temporary permit.
Their permit is dependent on compliance with the City of Cape Town’s regulations and if residents give them the go-ahead.
Jonathan Schaffers, chairman of SPIN and whose son Ricardo is part of the contingent, said they were “very proud of the boys’ achievement”.
He said some of his son’s friends, who had hung around at their home, had made some wrong decisions, getting involved in drugs or gangsterism, but were now back.
“They’re not hanging out on the corner, they are sweeping or tidying the tarmac at the sportsfield, or they are tinkering in and on a car,” he said.
Mr Schaffers said it was not about where you come from but where you would like to go.
“I wish that I could be in their shoes, they need guidance and attention. Parents should show an interest in them – for them to want to be good,” he said.
Mr February said the competition would give the boys an opportunity to experience different driving styles, including navigating obstacles and technical driving.
“You are only as good as you are afforded the opportunity,” he said.
He said due to financial constraints he had been unable to take his passion for the sport further. “The youth need guidance and here is the organisational platform for them,” he said.
Shahiem Bell, spokesman for SPIN, said the teenagers now had a shot at new experiences beyond the borders of Mitchell’s Plain.
He said it was their aim to uplift the youth and to give them another option to better themselves, and to give them the tools to be able to take instruction, be disciplined and skilled to take up any challenge.