Cycling unlocks power of hope at Breede Valley School of Skills
8 April 2022
Four Breede Valley School of Skills family members recently took part in the Cape Town Cycle Tour.
The school’s principal, Llowellyn Syce, led the pack together with the Governing Body Deputy Chairperson, Nathan de Bruin, an alumnus, Kevin Muller, and a current learner, Jerome Witbooi.
This was a new experience for all of them. Marli Goosen, an Educational Counsellor at the school, explained that learners caught the cycling bug shortly after lockdown hit in 2020. The five hostel learners came across forgotten bicycles at the school and started going on rides three times a week. Riding became their hope, the bike their friend.
She said as the months progressed, the distances became longer and the tracks more difficult. “Their furthest journey took them to Wolseley and that is when the dream emerged to one day cycle in the Cape Town Cycle Tour. Riding is so much more than just a physical activity or an extra-curricular programme at the school. It is where our learners experience hills and the temporary pain and struggle it involves. They realise it is a metaphor for their lives, knowing as they tackle the social, emotional and economic struggles in their lives... the pain will end. It always does.”
Quoting the author and adventurer Scott Stoll who said that a bicycle ride around the world begins with a single pedal stroke, Goosen said that since that first pedal stroke was made during lockdown, learners have been inspired and they are looking forward to a bigger team at the Cape Town Cycle Tour next year. They also plan on competing in more races during the year.
“The late French novelist, Maurice le Blanc once said, ‘The bicycle is no longer a beast of steel... no, it is a friend... it is a faithful and powerful ally against one’s worst enemies. It is stronger than anxiety, stronger than sadness. It has all the power of hope.’”