Centrville’s John Taylor has kindly organised a club donation of cycling clothing to the Africa Kit Appeal which collects kit for young racing cyclists in Africa:
“Our mission is to provide the kids of our supported African countries with the cycling apparel they need, not only will this enable the current cyclists to fulfil their full potential, dreams & ambitions but we hope we can also introduce some new faces into the world of cycling, a world that we love.”
Matt Brammeier, four time Irish national road race and once Irish trial champion, is a professional cyclist currently riding for Aqua Blue Sport, who has ridden for also ridden fro HTC, Pharma Quick-step and MTN-Qhubeka. According to the website, “For years the amount of spare and leftover kit Matt has accumulated by the end of the season has bugged him. Not because of the space it takes in his wardrobe, but because of the thousands of up and coming cyclists that need it so much more than he does. As soon as he learned of the Adrien Niyonshuti cycling academy in Rwanda, the idea smacked him right in the face. So now here he is, trying to empty your clogged up wardrobes, draws and garages and give a little inspiration to these young kids that ironically inspire him so much.”
Centreville are pleased to have supported this in a small way. It will be interesting to see what will develop if the obstacles to participation can be overcome, in what is an expensive sport relative to running. African nations have come to dominate distance running – will the Tour one day be raced by far more nations that are currently represented? It will make for an even more competitive and compelling race to watch.
If you have some spare cycling kit of any kind (NB not bigger than medium size) the next collection is in October 2017. “We accept all good quality cycling kit in sizes Medium, Small and Extra Small; cycling shoes; sunglasses, helmets, and leg warmers, arm warmers etc.” Centreville will be using the Liverpool collection point at Quinns Cycles in Liverpool, but other collection points are around this and other countries.
Another way of supporting cycling in Africa is of course the Qhubeka charity, which aims to enable individuals and communities to access bicycles for transport to facilitate education, health and trade in poor communities. The name will be familiar from the MTN-Qhubeka (now Dimension Data) professional cycling team, which famously has Mark Cavendish and Steve Cummings as members.
The bicycle is an amazing machine which we are lucky enough to ride for fun, but it can also make a huge practical difference, as well as being one of the cleanest, most efficient and cheapest modes of transport. The Dimension Data Team’s website explains how a bicycle changes lives in Africa:
- Riding a bicycle increases a person’s carrying capacity by 5x
- Over the same period of time, a person riding a bicycle can travel 4x the distance as someone walking
- For every 16km travelled, a bicycle saves 3 hours of valuable time
For more information or to make a donation visit the Dimension Data Team’s website