The triumphant spirit of the Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy (DMA)
03 November 2017
“Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.” - Nelson Mandela
There’s something special about the Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy (DMA). Based in the Northern Farm Nature Reserve, the DMA uses mountain biking as a vehicle for change. Their programme offers mountain bike and life skills training to the underprivileged youth of Diepsloot and surrounds, with the goal of developing these kids as athletes, to grow future leaders, and ultimately change their lives.
Through our sponsorship of the grueling and internationally renowned Absa Cape Epic mountain bike challenge, Absa has become a proud and active supporter of the DMA in its mission to foster hope and empower their 70 members, aged 9-23.
The DMA members receive mountain bike coaching, following a training programme monitored by a UCI registered coach, on a weekly basis. This affords them the opportunity to work and play towards improved health in a safe and controlled environment.
The fruits of their hard work and dedication in the training programme could see these children earn their way into the DMA’s 16-member race team to compete at school, provincial and national events.
“As you get to know the kids personally and hear their individual stories, it changes you. Suddenly it is less about cycling and more about helping that person discover his/her talents and passions, and to help unlock the potential that is already in them.” - DMA mountain bike coach, Chrissie Viljoen
The extraordinary work that the DMA does, stretches far beyond the dusty trails of the farm. Academic support, mentorship and youth leadership development are top priorities.
Former DMA maths tutor and current Chief Financial Officer, Francois van Rooyen says that the DMA works towards building world-class facilities and offering educational support that will help each child tap into their potential and gain experience, to ultimately become leaders in their families and communities.
“I get to experience how people’s lives change as their confidence grows, despite the adversity they may face.” - DMA Chief Financial Officer, Francois van Rooyen
In many ways the Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy epitomises a core truth of Absa, when society prospers, we all grow.
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