Respect Ramashia is an active member of the Polokwane Pedlars Cycling Club and offers recreational cycling training to youths from around the Vhembe region. Photo supplied.
Respect Ramashia, a cyclist from Niani Malale village, is highly lauded for his continuous efforts to develop the youth in rural areas.
Ramashia is a member of Polokwane Pedlars Cycling Club. His primary objective is to offer recreational cycling training to interested young people from all around the Vhembe region. Riders also get to compete provincially and nationally, based on their skills. He encourages active mobility within communities that previously had no access to the sport. “The life of a cyclist is costly and demands a lot of financial support, which is always a challenge,” he said.
He also offers life-skills training and sometimes visit schools to give motivational talks. Here he touches on the importance of discipline and encourages pupils to remain focused and not let themselves be distracted from their schoolwork. “It is better to inspire the younger children, to coach and steer their passion in right directions.”
“I never envisioned that this would one day become more than a place to learn how to cycle. Through the efforts of managers, coaches and teachers, these youths have shown improvement in their cycling abilities and greater involvement and commitment to the sport and to their communities,” he said.
Ramashia always wondered how he could join the sport. “I didn’t know how to cycle until a friend took me with him to join the Polokwane Pedlars Cycling Club. I’m now a pro and have taken part in major races with sponsors who support me - not just in the sport, but in life.”
He says that the youth have become lost in drugs in his area - something he is grateful to have escaped. “Cycling takes our kids off the street and provides them with a healthy lifestyle,” he says. “I was one of the boys who enjoyed being at the bike park and already had good cycling skills. I don’t think I would otherwise have had these opportunities.”
Date:17 July 2021 - By: Kaizer Nengovhela
Kaizer Nengovhela started writing stories for Limpopo Mirror more than a decade ago, in 2 000. Prior to that he had a five year stint at Phala-Phala FM as sports presenter. In 2005 Kaizer received an award from the province's premier as Best Sports Presenter. The same year he was also nominated as Best Sports Reporter by the Makhado Municipality. Kaizer was awarded the Mathatha Tsedu award in 2014.