Supporting children in sustaining their active lives
Through my experience of training for and taking part in the ABSA Cape Epic 2014, I came into contact with many professional riders and corporate firms who are involved in distributing bikes, as well as providing funding to rural children. Not only did these initiatives enable the kids to get to school, the communities were also introduced to the fun side of the sport and many children were able to realise their inherent ability to ride a bike, and ride it well!
Professional cyclists, Karl Platt and Stefan Sahm, told me stories of young, talented kids who rode with them but were unable to reach their potential due to lack of energy and "hitting the wall" far too early in races. The bigger picture became far clearer when they were informed that the kids hadn't eaten breakfast and drank only water in their bottles.
What can we do about this? I discussed this with my good friend Reinette Geldenhuis. We considered the idea of planting gardens in the local communities in order to promote healthy eating and the nutritional value of fresh products. This remains our long-term dream.
Food Cycle's main objectives:
Educating the youth about nutrition and healthy eating habits.
Establishing kitchens with sporting academies such as Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy and Songo in Kayamandi, Stellenbosch.
Utilising the kitchens to introduce the youngsters to cooking and thereby empowering them to cook their own meals.
Eventually, we would like to set-up a trailor with a fully-equiped kitchen for the purposes of education by way of demonstrating the process of preparing healthy foods.
The trailor will provide a "visual presence" of Food Cycle within the community.
The "8700 Breakfast Bar" which will be a source of energy and a "kit start" for the kids' day. The breakfast bar will be of optimum nutritional value, but also taste good.
What we do.
Educating the kids about the benefits of short term and long term eating habits and proper nutrition.
How healthy food affects their bodies and is associated with improved performance in sport.
Eventually having a team spending weekdays at schools with sports programmes and sports centres within various communities, thereby assisting and supporting the existing programmes in sustaining and developing both their own strengths as well as those of Foodcycle.
Spending weekends at bike races and rides in parks and along the spruits, in order to create awareness and sell products to fund the programme and get the kids involved.