Johannesburg - The Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy (DMA) doesn’t only produce sport professionals – it also creates leaders and entrepreneurs.
The DMA, which was established in 2012, has produced shining stars in their communities.
One of the success stories of this programme is William Mokgopo, who is said to be influential and highly disciplined. DMA co-founder Cindy Ross raves about Mokgopo and says he is a good role model and that the academy needs more people like him.
“He is one of the reasons we started this programme as we wanted to help him become a professional cyclist,” says Ross.
“When the organisation started, we funded it from our own pockets for two and a half years. Absa came on board in 2015 and it started by giving us T-shirts before becoming our official sponsor.”
The bank does not stop at supporting DMA financially, but also provides work experience through an internship programme for members of the club.
The Absa Cape Epic, which takes place from March 19 to 26, will provide 10 DMA members with invaluable internship opportunities at one of the world’s toughest mountain bike races.
Among them will be 20-year-old Melody Mabudule and 27-year-old Reginald Kiti.
Absa enrolled PR company Playmakers to handle the DMA account. The company's public relations account executive Maphuti Hlako says the bank has played a huge role in hooking up the youngsters with influential people who help them to grow.
Cycling calendar event
“Absa helps them get exposure. We have great stories to tell, such as that of Tsepo Nyirenda, who met David Higgs through this programme and he helped him co-found a food cycle feeding scheme. Nyirenda is also a trainee chef.”
Mokgopo cut his teeth professionally when he represented South Africa in the 2013 Union Cycliste Internationale World Cup in Germany.
He has also participated in two Absa Cape Epic tours, a premier cycling calendar event in South Africa.