By Malikhanye Mankayi
A new, five-month-old Makhanda cycling club called AmaRiders is keeping young children away from drug and alcohol abuse. The club visits Makhanda’s surrounding farms to enrich the young minds. It is open to everyone who is passionate about cycling, of any gender.
Lelethu Demka, a member of AmaRiders, said the club was for “those who are passionate about riding bicycles because in our schools locally, cycling is not one of the sports offered”. Demka added that there is a lack of professional cyclists around, and children who want cycling careers tend to lose focus, since there is no support for them.
“In our community, we need support from the community members to send their kids to the club so that they can grasp this opportunity as well” said Demka.
A fellow cyclist, Andile Geelbooi, said being part of AmaRiders had changed his life. “I was involved in drugs and alcohol but being part of AmaRiders removed me from these bad activities. So now, I have something I am focusing on. To those that want to come and join the team, I would encourage them because they will also see positive change as well in their lives,” said Geelbooi. He added that the club is looking for teammates that are also dedicated to the club and who will not be a bad influence.
The Club is still new, and the AmaRiders are in need of much support. The main things the Club is looking for are bicycles, medical first aid kits and catering and refreshments when they travel long distances.