The IIE’s Varsity College Shifts Gears Into Professional Cycling
The Independent Institute of Education’s (The IIE’s) Varsity College sports department is shifting up a gear by announcing the launch of The IIE’s Varsity College Cycling Team.
The team for 2020 is made up by two young promising riders, Hennie van Wyk (18) (1st year IIE BCom) and Lodewicus Breytenbach (19) (2nd year IIE BCom) ,and will be managed by Peschl Sports. Both athletes are full-time students at The IIE’s Varsity College Pretoria campus and have been awarded full sports bursaries.
“This is an exciting development for our sports department,” says Carole Adam, National Sports Manager The IIE’s Varsity College. “We are proud to now offer a cycling structure for aspiring professional athletes wanting to compete at the highest level of the sport while also obtaining a high quality tertiary education.”
“Cycling is one of the most popular sports in South Africa, but there is still a gap in terms of support for athletes wanting to make the transition from High School into the Junior and U23 categories. We hope that, by formalising our cycling team and giving them access to the management and mentorship required at a professional level, we will attract more athletes to the sport and ensure the growth of cycling in South Africa.”
The riders will represent The IIE’s Varsity College on a national level in the UCI-accredited disciplines of MTB XCO, MTB Marathon and MTB Stage-Racing. Van Wyk’s focus will be on MTB marathon and stage-racing, while Breytenbach will look to make his mark on the National XCO Series. His season is already off to a flying start with a 14th place finish in the Elite Men’s race at the Mankele MTB Park on the 15th of February 2020 – his first XCO race in the elite age category.
Van Wyk has also had a consistent start to the racing season with two podium finishes at the USN MTB Cup in Gauteng and the Sabie Classic MTB Race (75km), as well as finishing 15th overall at the Knysna Bull Stage Race.
The team will also compete for the coveted University Sports South Africa (USSA) Cycling title, with the addition of certain riders to baluster the team for this particular event in June later this year.
As the former principal of the Kargo Pro MTB Team, Peschl Sports brings a wealth of expertise and knowledge to the new The IIE’s Varsity College Cycling Team.
“In addition to talent and training, there are many aspects involved in becoming a professional cyclist and we can empower young athletes with the necessary tools to help them advance to the next level of their sporting careers,” says Shaun Peschl, Director of Peschl Sports. “Most importantly, the athletes are gaining a tertiary qualification which will put them in good standing for their future, regardless of the career path they choose.”
The IIE’s Varsity College will continue to offer cycling as a campus sport with cycling clubs situated at most campuses nationwide. The clubs are overseen by talented and enthusiastic Club Administrators and cater to all levels of cyclists, from beginners to more experienced riders. Limited equipment – including bikes and helmets – is available at each campus for new riders who don’t yet have their own gear.
Anatomic is proud to be the chosen manufacturers of the IIE’s Varsity College Cycling Team kit