Cycling Whole Life Coaching for @Risk African Kids

by Prochorus Community Development NPC
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Cycling Whole Life Coaching for @Risk African Kids
Cycling Whole Life Coaching for @Risk African Kids
Cycling Whole Life Coaching for @Risk African Kids
Cycling Whole Life Coaching for @Risk African Kids
Cycling Whole Life Coaching for @Risk African Kids
Cycling Whole Life Coaching for @Risk African Kids
Cycling Whole Life Coaching for @Risk African Kids
Cycling Whole Life Coaching for @Risk African Kids
Cycling Whole Life Coaching for @Risk African Kids
Cycling Whole Life Coaching for @Risk African Kids
Cycling Whole Life Coaching for @Risk African Kids
Cycling Whole Life Coaching for @Risk African Kids
Cycling Whole Life Coaching for @Risk African Kids
Entrance to the Jonkershoek Trail Park
Entrance to the Jonkershoek Trail Park

2022 started with a lot of energy and many kids wanting to join the programme. Our Aftercare Centre had nearly 70 registrations in the first two weeks after opening, and many of these kids want to be part of the cycling as well. We’ve started with an additional training group for the female and younger riders. This allows us to focus more on the needs and goals of the older and fitter riders. The girls and young boys are very excited about taking part in the cycling programme.

Our first event for the year is just around the corner. On 26 February we’ll be participating in the Skynamo Cross Challenge (Triathlon) at the Grabouw Country Club. We have some volunteers who will do the long swim leg and our boys will be running and cycling. They are all very excited about this. Two weeks after this event, we have the Cape Town Cycle Tour coming up, in which four boys will participate. We've only received a hand full of entries due to the COVID-19 entry limitations.

Some of our training sessions have been quite tough, amidst a very hot summer and we’ve also started doing some interval training again. It’s good to see how most of the boys are engaging in the harder training and want to improve their cycling performance.

We’re currently busy fine-tuning the personal goals of each rider and it’s exciting to hear their hearts and how we can encourage and support these young riders in the pursuit of their dreams, whether big or small, short term or long term.

Since October last year, we’ve started our training rides from our Aftercare Centre (tutoring) venue, which allows boys who didn’t have lunch to quickly eat something before training. This has made a difference for some of the kids in terms of their attendance and ability to train and develop much better.

We had a photoshoot with our new T-Shirts, arranged by the forestry organisation who sponsors our local trail permits. Only a couple of boys were present during this shoot, but we plan to have another opportunity soon. The boys had a lot of fun showing off their skills for the camera. Here are some of the pictures.

Fun on the jumps
Fun on the jumps
Grinding some berms
Grinding some berms
Here they come
Here they come
Up-up-up
Up-up-up
Thank You for...
Thank You for...
Group at the Aftercare, where we keep the bikes
Group at the Aftercare, where we keep the bikes
The super twins
The super twins
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Group Photo at Camp during Tour
Group Photo at Camp during Tour

The third quarter of 2021 brought new and exciting opportunities for the project, as we looked forward to resuming activities as normal after some minor disruptions due to the COVID 19 pandemic and some inclement weather.

2021 marks the 10th year of the running of the Jonkershoek Development Cycling Project and we celebrated this with a multi-day cycling tour, taking place in the scenic vistas of Grabouw in the Western Cape during September. The aim of the tour was to gain some practical experience in mountain biking in some challenging and new terrain, as well to grow together as a family. Back2Basics was used as a base for the camp and from there we were able to cycle the wonderful Lebanon trails, as well as experience a much-anticipated day out in the Oak Valley trail nearby, often playing host to major races such as the ABSA Absa Cape; world-renowned 8-day stage race. While at the campsite, the boys were able to enjoy fellowship with one another, the leadership and engage in fun, but challenging team-building activities, and enjoy the wonderful camping facilities. Many hours were shared around the campfire, discussing life, cycling stories, enjoying the outdoors, relationships, and proved to be a valuable time for the facilitators to impart wisdom for life, healthy relationships and spirituality. 

The month of September also brought with it an opportunity to return to racing for our riders. We competed in the "Fedhealth MTB Challenge" mountain bike race, hosted by Stillwater sports and Blaauwklippen wine estate in the beautiful Stellenbosch, Western Cape. The race took place over 2 days, the first day consisting of a 15km ride around some of the wine farms in Stellenbosch or our younger riders, whilst day 2 saw some of the older boys, as well as their coaches, complete a 30km saunter in the challenging wet and rainy conditions. Nonetheless, we all finished with big smiles on our faces, as the superb water point, immaculate and exhilarating single track, and encouraging atmosphere made for a truly enjoyable experience for all involved.

This quarter also saw the project partnering up with Amplified Youth, whose aim is to foster healthy community relationships, offer emotional and spiritual development to the youth, and provide leadership training to young people of all cultural backgrounds, socio-economic statuses and ethnicities. These weekly meetings have played a major role in the emotional, spiritual, and leadership qualities we are seeing develop in these young men. It has been extremely encouraging to see the young men engaging with the mentorship program with their leaders and taking responsibility for their own lives and futures.  

Without our partners and donors, none of these amazing learning experiences would have been possible, and we are truly grateful for all those who sponsored us with race entries and donations, which make it possible to serve the next generation of leaders and avid mountain bikers in South Africa. 

Finally, we're thrilled to announce one of our old beneficiaries, who started cycling for the first time on this project, won the development cycling category of the 2021 ABSA Cape Epic. This is a major achievement and we are very proud of him for working hard and stretching himself towards fulfilling his dreams of being a professional cyclist.

Team building activity
Team building activity
Obstacle Course Race in progress
Obstacle Course Race in progress
Fedhealth Race
Fedhealth Race
Boys ready for youth meeting
Boys ready for youth meeting
Getting ready for Fedhealth Race
Getting ready for Fedhealth Race
ABSA Cape EPIC 2021 Exxaro Category Winner
ABSA Cape EPIC 2021 Exxaro Category Winner
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We have had quite a successful term, considering the circumstances we are currently in as a country. We had very good attendance from the beneficiaries this term. We have implemented more rules to ensure the boys prioritize time for their academics. This was initially not received well, but quite soon the beneficiaries started asking for more help and became a whole lot more committed to their academics. We hope to see an improvement in this terms school reports. We also have a renewed focus on mentoring sessions, with more capacity added in the form of very committed and passionate volunteer who joined us in the beginning of the year. The boys have enjoyed and been committed in joining the sessions once per week. We also had two days on which we serviced the bikes with the boys. It's always fun to teach the boys a bit more about the bikes, how to maintain them well and how this is such a critical life priciple in all areas, which should not be neglected, but rather celebrated and enjoyed.

At the start of the second quarter, Jonkershoek (our home ground) was hit by a devastating and destructive wildfire, which damaged the trails and hurt the whole ecosystem quite a lot. So when the heavy rains started recently, it caused quite a lot of flooding and erosion. Even though we were able to ride on our favourite local trails again, we're not sure how the current rainy conditions will cause more trail damage. 

During the month of May, we were able to participate in the first leg of the Spur Schools League, with the series running over about five months. This was very exciting because it has been quite a while since we've participated in races. This league has always been a team highlight for every year, ever since we've started participating in 2011. Unfortunately, due to the third wave in COVID-19 infections in South Africa, the league has been postponed.

In June we had to say good-bye to one of our beloved coaches, who has been serving as a volunteer with his wife since 2015. Daniel and his family have returned to Germany. This has left a hole in our cycling family and in our hearts. We are however very excited for their new season as a family and to see them flourish.

We also entered stricter lock-down regulations at the end of June, restricting our group gatherings and starting school holidays earlier to allow COVID-19 infections to become more stable. Unfortunately, there is major delays in the availability and roll-out of vaccinations, which causes these repetitive waves of infections to be out of control and new variants of the virus to develop.

Thanks to all our supporters.

Attached find additional project data and details during the term.


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This year has started with a bang, after last year we are so executed to see what this year has in store for us. 

Here is a small recap from the end of last year and beginning of this year. 

At the end of last year we participated in a race at Ridein, which is on the outskirts of Jonkershoek, Many of our beneficiaries placed very well in each age group. This race was enjoyable for all ages groups as it catered for the younger boys too. 

In January we had a beneficiary training with a German athlete in a training camp. He had exposure to a professional athletes lifestyle and training regime.he learnt many new things and is eager for this year and what lies ahead. 

In February we had a huge fire start in the Franshoek region, with gale force winds it ended up entering the Jonkershoek Valley burning the nature reserve. Our beneficiaries had to evacuate their homes, fortunately no houses were damaged during the fire. This means the trails we normally train on are quite burnt, hopefully we will be able to return soon.

We are so excited to see what this year has in store for us, hopefully some more races and a whole bunch more growth and development for our beneficiaries.

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High excitement for training rides
High excitement for training rides

Standing in a time of diversity

At this point in time, I think most people are quite fed-up with the realities and parameters of the COVID 19 limitations which we all have to deal with. It’s a testing time for most people and even if it just means having to adjust to new norms and realities, we are all tested in our ability to adapt and our resilience to make the most of what this adverse time throws at us.

For the Cycling Whole Life Coaching program it’s been no different. Besides the direct realities we’ve had to deal with during the pandemic, we’ve recently had our second case of theft this year at our bicycle storage facility. It seems like the criminals have seen this lockdown period as the prime opportunity to execute their criminal activities. We’ve stepped up our security system quite a bit with a CCTV installation and backup power supply, since the thieves are quite clever to come during stormy weather when the power has also been eliminated. Along with some other measures, we hope this will be enough to prevent further problems of this nature and also offer helpful evidence to the police in case something does happen.

One the front of our program with the kids, we’ve had an exciting time since starting with activities after the hard lockdown period. The kids missed the riding so much, they came in large numbers to rejoin the training rides. We had to be strict with the age group training times to not run into the problem of not having enough bicycles available for those attending. We also had a few running days, which was mostly due to the bicycle theft and we needed to first sort out the damage and the insurance before resuming the riding. The kids also enjoy running though and it is sometimes combined with a swim in the nearby river pools.

During the recent school holidays, we ran a holiday program for all the children attending the aftercare. There we over fifty children attending here and they had such fun. One of the activities – a treasure hunt, ended up being quite a challenge, but the kids would not give up before they could find all the hidden treasure. Like all our activities, each of these also had a lesson through experiential learning. Who ever thought learning could be so much fun…

The last weekend in October, we took the committed boys, 13 years and older, on a journey-into-manhood camp. For the boys group, teaching them about authentic manhood, has been a focus of the program from the beginning. After all the male facilitators and coaches on the program completed “The World Needs a Father” course, we were even more inspired to be extra intentional about this journey for the boys – boys becoming authentic men. It’s even called “The Journey” in “The World Needs a Father” package. This year, one of these men, was very committed to the quality of the process, since he has a great passion it. We’ve been having sessions with them since February of this year. After the camp was postponed due to the COVID 19 lockdown, we finally were able to go on the weekend mentioned above. It was very challenging for the boys, but we were amazed at how well they could cope with the challenges and engage in the process, while implementing the values taught. These are the future leaders of our program and positive role models for the younger boys, even those in the community who are not part of the program.

Our future leaders
Our future leaders
High excitement for training rides
High excitement for training rides
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Organization Information

Prochorus Community Development NPC

Location: Stellenbosch - South Africa
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ProchorusCD
Project Leader:
Jan Scannell
Stellenbosch, South Africa
$10,941 raised of $15,000 goal
 
321 donations
$4,059 to go
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