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Bright future for young riders

Mon, 23 March 2015 05:21
by Andreas Kathindi
Sports

The Namibia Enduro Club is
laying the foundations to have
Namibian riders competing at a
continental level and potentially
Europe by establishing the Enduro Junior
development club.
The junior club, which consists of
riders between the ages of 9 and 12, took
part in the Bank Windhoek Namibia
National Enduro series on 14 March at
Farm Lichtenstein.
“We decided to establish the junior
development club at our annual general
meeting (AGM) on 12 January for riders
under the age of 14 to compete in class
11 competitions. The ultimate aim is
to have them competing at a national,
continental eventually international
level,” said Chairman of Namibia Enduro
Club (NEC), Günter Brettschneider. He
added, “We had fun days for the juniors
previously, at least once a year but we
realised it was time to dedicate more time
for them.”
He further stated that those interested
in taking on the route and joining the
club had to have at least grasped basic
motorcycling abilities as the sport is not
for everyone.
“They had to at least be able to last an
hour or an hour and a half on a motorbike
on the track before we started to work
with them. They had to be able to down
a hill and navigate intersections,” said
Brettschneider. He added, “They also have
to have a certain level of fitness.”
Due to their age, it took the youngsters
about two hours to complete the track
the Enduro series. “It was quite difficult
to drive up one mountain, but we helped
each other and all of us made it to the
finish”, said Lenny Bagwitz who, riding a
Yamaha, finished among the top three in
the development class. The other two were
Keanu Weber-Trianus (KTM) and Noah
Bagwitz (KTM).
Brettschneider, who encourages
young riders to join future events in the
development class, said that it is a lot
of work to train riders at such a young
age. “We were hesitant to take in riders
younger than 12 because it can be difficult
learning how to mark a track among other
things. It takes time to learn, but we do it
for the love of the sport,” he said.
Like all sport, injuries are a concern,
but the NEC chairman said he was grateful
they have not experienced any injuries so
far. “Injuries cannot be avoided. The best
we can do is prepare for them, but you do
not have control of what a rider does on
the track. I advise to not try something you
are not sure you can manage.”
He also detailed the plans of NEC,
stating that the aim is to get the U-14s to
compete among each other, taking on one
lap then advancing on to two laps, before
they can move on to Class 7 and 8, which
are more technical.
“When they are 16, they can compete
at a national level, and then they can move
on from there,” Brettschneider said.
The young riders will compete again
at the next race in the Bank Windhoek
National Enduro Series slated to take place
on 16 May 2015 at Aranos.