The weekend of 21 and 22 June will be an exciting one in Pietermaritzburg as the two-day BSi Steel dusi2c mountain bike race welcomes rider Martin Dreyer and his RMB Change a Life Academy.
Over the past few years, following the success of his Valley of a Thousand Hills Canoeing Academy, Dreyer’s talents have diverged off the water and onto the MTB tracks with his newly founded RMB Change a Life Academy aiming high.
The RMB Change a Life Academy has encouraged the raw talent of KwaZulu-Natal’s locals into growing both as riders and as people, promoting the development of life skills such as discipline, hard work and goal-setting amongst each of them. The Academy’s riders have competed in races all around KZN and are in search of broadening their horizons into races throughout the rest of the country.
The idea of competing in this 143km off-road journey became a reality after Dreyer settled a partnership with the dusi2c race sponsors, BSi Steel, who have granted two two-rider entries for the two stage mountain bike race which routes from Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg to Blue Lagoon in Durban. A lucky break indeed, considering the event was already sold-out in January.
With Dreyer being on good terms with BSi Steel CEO William Battershill, originally from Pietermaritzburg, the pair strongly feels that the partnership will be beneficial for each of their parties moving forward into the future. Dreyer says
It’s not just the entries that benefit us, of course it helps with costs, but it’s more about benefiting the locals and their racing. More importantly, on the other hand, to have locals riding in their back garden and to have their families screaming for them is probably one of the most incredible feelings the guys could have on the tracks. This partnership is helping to benefit and uplift the community which is an amazing opportunity. Stage racing is unique when it comes to mountain biking. The guys will be staying overnight, be given meals and will be sitting alongside some of the most prestigious competition in the race. It’s an amazing experience for the guys to be bumping shoulders at a table where it doesn’t matter who you are, how much you earn or where you come from, your background is irrelevant. Everyone is there for the love of the sport. Everyone is equal… what can be more beneficial to a persons moral than that?”
BSi Steel served as the title sponsors in the first edition of the dusi2c last year and since then have strived to create valuable opportunities for the locals from the Valley to grasp on personal development. With the eagerness of the Academy riders to achieve just that, the partnership seemed a perfect fit and BSi Steel were proud to announce and grant the sponsorship.
BSi Steel has supplied us with two entries for the race. It is going to be a great event for the local guys with them being able to ride in their own back yard. The guys are super excited and having their families there to watch them ride will be really great for them!” an undeniably proud Dreyer said in an interview with Nick Tatham. In addition to these two BSi Steel-sponsored entries, Dreyer has entered a third pair into the race.
With all Dreyer’s riders coming from the Valley of a Thousand Hills and the BSi Steel dusi2c passing through this same area, it’s exciting to anticipate how well the riders will do racing in an area they are familiar with as their training ground. For the guys, despite the intimidating strong competition, being amongst the flourish of diverse cultures is just another way that the sport is exposing them to a small taste of where their talents can take them, and what may lie over the horizon.
In life and in sport, you’ve got to give back. When you get sponsorships it’s never a matter of “how much can I take”, if they can get some results then that is exactly how they can give back.
The team needs recognising to go further. It’s important they keep improving and it will contribute towards their careers, especially if the guys perform well and receive a lot of exposure to the public and to the media, it’s a fantastic opportunity to secure future potential sponsors, but it’s a platform for the team to grow. Stage is different to SA champs, which is individual man-on-man, stage racing is a team effort and these kind of races are the right places to make a name for yourself and for your partner.
With these possible life changing outcomes being only a few pedals away, tensions are at all-time high. Dreyer shared with us what the teams emotions are and how they feel going into a race of this intensity.
They are super-excited! It’s in their back yard and a lot of their families will be on the banks watching. One of our riders, John Nthuli, lives just off the route and he cannot wait to showcase his skill. There are a lot of people who know about the team and see them in the area training up and down the hills through the valley and no doubt they will be there to watch and cheer the boys on. These guys are going to have so much adrenalin pumping through them and that’s what this is about… to make them feel alive!
With approximately 300 two-person teams competing this year, thumbs are tightly being held for only the best results to come from Dreyer and the RMB Change a Life Academy competitors.
Race clever and look after each other. It’s different racing with a team mate, so make sure you cross the line with him. The stage has been set, now go for it!
More information can be found at dusi2c.co.za