On the fast track to suc­cess

CityPress - - Sport - SIL­VER SIBIYA sil­ver.sibiya@city­press.co.za

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. Play­mak­ers pub­lic re­la­tions ac­count ex­ec­u­tive Ma­phuti Hlako says the bank has played a huge role in hook­ing up the young­sters with in­flu­en­tial peo­ple, who have helped them grow.

“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.

PHOTO: TEBOGO LETSIE

EX­CITED Melody Mabud­ule and Regi­nald Kiti will take part in the Absa Cape Epic cy­cle tour

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