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Cycle Classic launched for 24th year

The Paratus Namibian Cycle Classic which takes place on 7 and 8 October this year was launched in Windhoek yesterday. 

It will be the 24th year that The Namibian has been sponsoring the event since its launch in 1999, and the second year in a row that Paratus has come on board as a main sponsor. 

Yesterday, Paratus announced a sponsorship of N$260 000 for this year’s event with their sales manager Ian Grassow saying that they were delighted to continue supporting the event.

“Last year’s event was a tremendous success, and we are eager to make this year’s edition even bigger and better. Our partnership with Rotary Club Windhoek and The Namibian exemplifies our commitment to the community and our dedication to promoting youth development and sport in Namibia,” he said. 

“The Paratus Namibian Cycle Classic is not just a sporting event; it is a platform for community service and fundraising. By participating in the Cycle Classic, cyclists contribute to community service projects, support charitable causes, and help empower the youth of our nation. This event showcases the power of collaboration and the positive impact that can be achieved when individuals and organisations come together for a common goal,” he said. 

Funds raised by the Cycle Classic go to Rotary Club Windhoek, which uses it for various social upliftment projects in Namibia.

The president of Rotary Club Windhoek, Rainer Ritter, said last year’s event had raised about N$180 000 for charity projects, which had helped themto support several projects.

“We are sponsoring a number of projects now, for instance in Katutura we’ve got the Onganga Trust where we support children and also the Baumgartsbrunn Primary School in Khomas Hochland to the west of Windhoek, which we support with other rotary clubs in Germany. I’d say the amount of funding that has gone to the Baumgartsbrunn School over the past decade is about N$17 million,” he said. 

“We’ve also got a project in the south, it’s a garden project with a school which started last year, also with the support of the German government and rotary clubs in Germany,” Ritter added.

“We also funded the school hostel at Dordabis – the boys and girls didn’t have separate toilets so we built different toilets and we also started a garden project there,” he said, adding that they were also supporting projects in the Kavango and Katutura. 

The editor of The Namibian, Tangeni  Amupadhi asked for a moment of silence in remembrance of several cyclists who lost their lives on the road in recent years.

“I really don’t want to spoil such a lovely event starting off on this note, but I think part of the Cycle Classic’s role is to promote cycling all around. So when people lose their lives, when they get bumped, it always reminds me that we need to do a lot more to raise awareness about cycling, and that there’s a lot more to cycling than some of us buying expensive bicycles and just competing and having fun,” he said. 

“Cycling is both a sport and it’s also an activity that permeates all of society. I’m sure you’ve seen people driving early morning to work and late evening back home. Now those are people who have no choice, or so we think, but more than that, cycling helps with fitness, and fitness makes society healthy, mentally and physically. Without a society that is fit mentally and physically, we won’t have a productive society, so we should keep promoting cycling and I think that’s why the Namibian has been at this event for the past 23 years now,” he added. 

This year’s event will consist of three components – a mountain bike race over three distances as well as the Kiddies Classic for toddlers and little ones on Saturday, 7 October; and a road race over three distances on Sunday, 8 October. 

Entries for the Paratus Namibian Cycle Classic will open later this month, while more details about the event will be provided later.