Windhoek, Oct 19 – -Nedbank Namibia today held a media launch to officially open this year’s Nedbank Desert Dash. Speaking at the launch, Nedbank’s Namibia Executive for Retail and Business Banking, Richard Meeks, stated that 2021 is one for the history books when it comes to the achievements in the Namibian sports fraternity. “Namibia’s’ developing reputation as a competent host of major cycling events is evidenced by its staging of International Cycling Union (UCI) sanctioned races. And as you may know, earlier this year five Namibian cyclists qualified to compete in cycling codes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. This is testimony to the fact that Namibian cycling has come a long way, and we’ve gained well-deserved recognition on a continental and worldwide scale,” he said.
With only 50 days to go, the Nedbank Desert Dash returns for its 17th consecutive year slated for Friday, 10 December, to Saturday, 11 December 2021.
The cycling event, which is under Nedbank Namibia for the seventh year, is the longest single-stage mountain bike race in the world. This year, the race will cover 393km from the Namibian capital, Windhoek’s Grove Mall, to Swakopmund’s Platz A Meer, with cyclists travelling over the Khomas – Hochland Mountains and through the Namib Desert to the Atlantic coast.
To date, Nedbank Namibia has invested over N$7 million in the Desert Dash. The incidental contribution of this investment, is the number of people that flock to the coastal town for the period of the Desert Dash. “Each year we’ve been thrilled to see so many participants, as well as their friends and family travel to Swakopmund to support the cyclists. A few days before and after the event, hospitality places at the coast are literally are bursting at the seams. The Nedbank Desert Dash also helps to increase the support rendered to small businesses in Swakopmund, such as adventure tours, and massage parlors. We are confident that the race has a significant and wide-ranging influence on the economy of Swakopmund, and that it provides an ideal opportunity to promote Namibia as a fascinating tourist destination to the international cycling communities,” Meeks added.
The Executive Director of the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service, Dr. Audrin Mathe, who was in attendance at the launch, said that the Desert Dash keeps attracting an international audience. “As a ministry, we are pleased to see that the event has continued to attract international cyclists. With all the travel restrictions in place, I am delighted to hear that this year, the race will see participants from South Africa, Malawi, the United States, Germany, Portugal, Britain, France, Serbia, Canada, Ireland, Belgium, and Botswana among many other countries,” he said. Dr. Mathe, added that the government will remain in contact with the organisers to ensure that Covid-19 regulations are adhered to.
Swakopmund Chief Executive Officer, Archie Benjamin, joined the live stream remotely, to give his sentiments on the Nedbank Desert Dash. “The Nedbank Desert Dash is unique as it brings international visibility to Namibia. On behalf of the Swakopmund community, we want to express our heartily welcome to all the cyclists, their teams, and supporters that will be coming to the town,” he said.
The Nedbank Desert Dash is co-sponsored by Indongo Toyota, SuperSpar (Maerua and The Grove, and Bokomo.
Nedbank Desert Dash organizer and LIMA events owner, Leander Borg(Left) ; Executive Director of the Ministry of Sport, Youth and National Service, Dr. Audrin Mathe(Middle) ; and Nedbank Executive for Retail and Business Banking, Richard Meeks(right) .
Namibia Daily News