Durban - The 10th annual Spur Schools MTB League came to a roaring close at the Inter-Schools Final in Magaliesburg at the weekend.
Paul Roos Gimnasium in Western Cape was placed first in the overall men’s winner category, Thomas More college in KwaZulu-Natal was placed first in the overall women’s category and Garsfontein High School in Gauteng was placed first on the Leader board for the overall mix winner category.
In addition, in the Sub Junior Boys category, Magalies Spesiale Skool’s Bertie Anderson scooped first place, followed by Potchefstroom Gimnasium’s Christiaan Smith in second place and Jordan Bold from Thomas More College in third place. In the Sub Junior Girls category Lillian Baber from Hatfield Christian School is in first place, followed by Geane Engelbrecht from Secunda High School in Mpumalanga who’s in second and Anna Marx from Springfield Convent who’s in third.
Further, Justin Vosloo from Windhoek Gymnasium in Namibia is in first place in the Youth Men (A) category, followed by Kyle du Toit from Noordheuwel High School in second place, and Aidan Penfold from Paul Roos Gimnasium in third place. In the Youth Women (A) Bernice van Wyk from Lydenburg High School in Mpumalanga is in first place, tailed by Chloe Bateson from Curro Mount Richmore High School in KwaZulu-Natal, and Andrea Schofmann from Rhenish Girls High School in the Western Cape in third place.
In the Youth Men (B) category, Travis Stedman from Thomas More College in KwaZulu-Natal won first place, followed by Aaron Heynecke from Jeppe Boys in second, and Parel Vallei’s Joshua Burger in third. The Youth Women (B) category saw Beani Thies from Wartburg Kirchdof High School in KwaZulu-Natal clock in in first place, tailed by Jone van Eeden from Potchefstroom Gimnasium in second and Hijke Coetzee from Nelspruit High School in Mpumalanga in third place.
In the Junior Women category, Zandri Strydom from Rob Ferreira High School came in first, followed by Tiffany Keep from Thomas More College in second place and Azulde Britz from Cornwall College in Gauteng was in third. For the Junior Men category, Jamie Penfold from Paul Roos Gimnasium scooped first place, followed by Willie van Eck from Rustenburg High School in North West in second place and Keegan Bontekoning from Monument High School in Gauteng in third place.
“What an incredible season, and what a fitting performance for the League’s tenth year. Our riders poured blood, sweat and tears into the regional leg of the season and came out guns blazing for the final, which is always so wonderful to see,” says Deon Steyn, race director for Gauteng.
The event wrapped-up months of rigorous training and hours of trail riding through mountainous terrain. The Spur Schools MTB League is the country’s largest high school cycling programme and the main nursery for talent in the sport. This year alone the event attracted over 16 000 entries from 500 schools across the country. And this figure is set to increase drastically come 2019, as more schools look to be included in what’s been described as one of the world’s largest MTB programmes. The League was launched by Spur Steak Ranches and Amarider in 2009 with the ultimate aim of promoting MTB as an official in-school sport, along with rugby and cricket; as well as to encourage mass participation among schoolgoing children.
“In ten years, we’ve successfully managed to tick that box. MTB has fast become a growing phenomenon among kids at school who are realising that there’s so much more to in-school sport than rugby and cricket,” says Khakhi Diala, Spur Group’s sponsorship and events manager.
The Inter-Provincial results rank participating provinces as follows: Gauteng (1); Western Cape (2); KwaZulu-Natal (3); Mpumalanga (4) and North West (5).
Meurant Botha, director of Amarider and principal organiser of the League congratulated the winning riders and schools, who he says experienced an exceptional season. Botha says he is proud to witness the development of this sporting event year-on-year and looks forward to an equally successful League come 2019.
“We’ve grown in leaps and bounds in the last ten years and I am so pleased to have witnessed how well the League has taken-off. Here’s to the next decade of mountain biking magic,” Botha says.
Planning for the 2019 season will get underway in earnest just a few weeks. Botha says Spur Steak Ranches, the League’s main sponsor for the past 10-years, who’s invested around R17 million into the event to-date has announced their commitment to remain the primary sponsor for the next 10-years.