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Back You are here: Home Sports MTB MTB: Spur MTB League Up For Sports Industry Awards
Thursday, 07 November 2013 09:39

MTB: Spur MTB League Up For Sports Industry Awards

The highly successful Spur School Mountain Bike League has shown tremendous growth over the past five years and is one of the sport development programmes on the Official Shortlist for the Discovery Sport Industry Awards 2014.


The Discovery Sport Industry Awards acknowledges the greatest achievements across the entire spectrum of sport, including the most outstanding and innovative work in marketing, PR, advertising, community investment and sponsorship.  Category winners will be announced at a gala event in February 2014.

Key industry figures gathered at the offices of the independent adjudicator Deloitte in Johannesburg for hours of intensive judging over two days.  The panel analysed and debated the merits of a record number of entries and produed a list of nominees representing the very best that the South African sport industry has to offer. The entire process was overseen by Deloitte to ensure absolute transparency.

“The standard of work produced by the South African sport industry continues to improve year on year and to make the Official Shortlist for the Discovery Sport Industry Awards is a huge achievement. To make this shortlist, a brand or agency must be producing genuinely innovative and industry-leading work,” said former Springbok Bob Skinstad, chairman of the official judging panel. “Congratulations to all those shortlisted – and I look forward to celebrating with the winners at the Awards ceremony on 13th February.” 

The other nominees in the sports development programme category include The Dreamfields Project, Powerade Performance Sessions with John Mitchell, NBA Royal Bafokeng Jr. Programme, SARU – Vodacom Cup 2013 'Tjovitjo' and SuperSport Let's Playlisted.

The Spur School Mountain Bike League, which was launched in 2009 as a joint initiative between Spur and Amarider, has exceeded all initial projections in terms numbers and reach and has grown from 900 entries and 20 events in 2009 to 7506 entrants taking part in 52 events hosted in 9 South African provinces, as well as Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho.

League co-ordinator Meurant Botha of Amarider attributes the amazing growth of the league to the hands-on involvement of Spur Steak Ranches as well as the efforts of a team of dedicated regional organisers and school co-ordinators.   He further states that one of the key objectives of the league is to leave a legacy for participants by building tracks on school property or community grounds. 

“Thanks to the financial support of the Spur Group, we have successfully built tracks at Bekker School in Magaliesburg, established new community tracks in Paarl and Somerset West (Western Cape), donated gates to the FH Odendaal School in Pretoria and have played a key part in securing school properties and local community parks for all Gauteng, North West and Western Cape events as well as the bulk of the Kwa-Zulu Natal and Mpumalanga meets,” says Botha. 

According to Spur Market Development Manager Andrew Cronje, the group is delighted to be a part of grassroots mountain-biking development at school level.  “We are really proud to be associated with the league as it not only provides a platform for schools to compete in a structured way, but is playing a key role in growing mountain-biking as a sport discipline,” said Cronje.

He further said that the programme also aimed to provide opportunities for developing riders by encouraging event organisers to assist in identifying potential groups that could benefit from this programme.

The league supports bona fide projects and has built solid relationships with several programmes around the country and part of the sponsorship fee is dedicated to development riders.  Entry fees and travel support is provided for 30-40 young riders in the Western Cape as well as 10 children each from Inanda (Durban), Diepsloot (Gauteng) and Sedibeng.   In addition, 10 bikes were donated to a programme in Somerset East, as well as travel assistance provided for participants, who wished to attend Eastern Cape events.  

The league also provided a race opportunity to 100 children from an established sports programme in Paarl, which led to Amarider assisting the group in setting up a BMX track and supporting the growing MTB community in the area.  Full sponsorship was provided to six children from Songo (Stellenbosch) and ten children from Diepsloot were supplied with accommodation, meals and entry fees to ensure their participation in the National Finals weekend in September.

“We would love to see mountain-biking acknowledged as an official school sport as these youngsters work extremely hard and deserve the same recognition for their achievements as traditional school sports.  Being nominated for the Official Shortlist of the most respected and prestigious sport industry event in Africa will most certainly support this endeavour,” concludes Cronje. 

For more information on the Spur School Mountain Bike League visit