Beacon Hill gears up for Heritage Day cycle tour

Hundreds of cyclists are expected to hit the streets of Beacon Valley as Beacon Hill High hosts its second annual Community Cycle Race, on Sunday September 23.

The day-long event, organised in collaboration with The Sports Trust Development Cycling Programme and Nedbank, will feature a host of sporting activities, music and poetry with the cycle tour being the main event.

The organisers will hope the skies will open up this time around as most of the activities at last year’s inaugural event had to take place indoors, due to the rainy conditions. That, however, didn’t dampen the spirits as the event went on as planned.

Former Beacon Hill High pupil and current deputy director of the Integrity Management Unit at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Juven Rittels, has thrown his weight behind the planned event.

“The cycle race anchors all the activities and even though the race needed to be cancelled last year due to weather, the festivities continued and it was an absolutely wonderful event. It is certainly achieving the goal of greater cohesion in the community,” said Rittels.

The race, a 5.9km circuit through Beacon Valley, is open to all cyclists from under-13 to the open category. The organisers also described it as highly competitive as it has over 400 entrants. It is endorsed by Cycling South Africa.

Entry is free for pupils, while open category cyclists will pay an entry fee of R50 (they can enter online by visiting www.wpcycling.com).

Beacon Hill teacher Zaida Davids said the school’s cycling team was progressing well and the increasing number of girls participating bears testimony to that progress.

“We notice the difference between pupils who participate in sport and those who don’t. Sport improves their concentration, it releases stress and it teaches them discipline, which they bring into the classroom,” she said.

Principal Gregory Kannemeyer concurred. He also noted that the “Cape Flats” are too often in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, which was not the case in reality.

“It is also wonderful to have so many people from outside our area coming here to participate,” he said.

The day-long event will have a range of other activities, including football, rugby, netball, table tennis, food and cool drink stalls, health talks, technology demos, Zumba dance sessions, singing, dancing, poetry, and storytelling.

“Strong friendships and bonds have been built between the development cyclists at different schools. They interact in areas they might never have otherwise visited, and they are looked upon as achievers,” said Mike Tippett, manager of development cycling for The Sports Trust.

Call Sharief Peters on 082 926 9402 for more information.