Windhoek, Feb 1 – – Nedbank Namibia today announced that the 2022 Nedbank Cycle Challenge will take place on Sunday 13 February 2022. Last year, the competition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Nedbank Cycle Challenge, which began in 1986, is considered Namibia’s oldest competitive cycling race. The 2022 event was launched at the new Nedbank campus in Windhoek.
Speaking at the launch event, and whilst applauding Nedbank for the investment made in cycling in Namibia, Minister of Sport, Youth and National Service, Hon. Agnes Tjongarero said, “Sport is not just a hobby, but rather a sector that feeds many people and that brings people closer together.” Due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, the past two years have been challenging in terms of hosting sporting activities. I am pleased to see that sporting events are slowly making a comeback.
The race has drawn over 1000 riders in previous years, making it one of Namibia’s finest athletic events. “We are thrilled to host the Nedbank Cycle Challenge this year following last year’s cancellation.” We will adhere to all applicable health regulations in light of the pandemic,” said Nedbank Namibia Managing Director, Martha Murorua.
The road racing challenge takes place across distances of 20km, 30km, and 60km, with the 100km race designated for elite athletes. The road race will begin at new Nedbank Campus on Fidel Castro Street and conclude on Independence Avenue right in front of the Zoo Park. The Mountain Bike Challenge and Nedbank Kidz Challenge, which are usually held on the same day as the road challenge, will not be hosted this year, particularly because of an intense cycling calendar.
“With many of the cycling events cancelled last year due to the pandemic, this year’s event gives cyclists an opportunity to enjoy the sport once again. Nobody could have imagined three decades ago that the Nedbank Road Challenge would expand to such proportions and become one of Namibia’s most prestigious sporting events. “Nedbank is humbled by the influence its sponsorship has played in the growth of some of our cyclists into international competitors over the years,” shared Murorua.
The Minster of Sport, Youth and National Service, Hon. Agnes Tjongarero echoed these sentiments whilst conveying her sincere gratitude towards Nedbank Namibia for their continuous commitment to this race. The investment of money, time, and resources into this challenge for 36 years is truly remarkable. Over the years, government budgets have been cut and the Sports Ministry’s budget wasn’t spared either. In terms of investments, we can’t do it alone. This is why investments from corporates, such as Nedbank Namibia, should never be taken for granted,” she said.
The Nedbank Road Challenge has been credited with helping develop some of the best cyclists Namibia has produced, such as Mannie Heymans, Erik Hofmann, the late Costa Seibeb, Dan Craven, Vera Adrian, Irene Steyn, and Michelle Vorster.
Namibia’s growing reputation as a top cycling nation in Africa has seen the country participate in the Olympic Games, host International Cycling Union (UCI)-sanctioned races and the African Continental Mountain Bike (MTB) Championships.
With the good rains experienced so far, the race in and around Windhoek will have the added benefit of beautiful green scenery as the cyclists push for the finish line. The challenge has, over the duration of the event, drawn elite and amateur cyclists from all over Namibia, making it the country’s largest participatory sporting event.
Nedbank has committed itself to sponsoring cycling and other social events as part of its corporate social responsibility. When the story of Namibian cycling is written, the contribution of Nedbank to the sport’s growth will be prominently featured. We have committed to assisting in the growth of cycling in Namibia. The primary reason for sponsoring cycling races is to promote cycling among people of all ages, both young and old. As cycling’s popularity grows, we’ve seen an increase in both cyclists and supporters.” Murorua continued in her speech.
She concluded her remarks by thanking event sponsors and partners, Windhoek Pedal Power, Coka Cola, NHP, and PayToday, for their dedication and unwavering support over the years.
The cycling events sponsored by Nedbank include the popular Nedbank Desert Dash at the end of the year, the Nedbank Rock & Rut MTB Series, as well as the Nedbank Windhoek Pedal Power Road race series, which kicked off last weekend.