Victor Phiri, founder of Ga Rankuwa Cycling against Substance Abuse (GCASA) wants to see more black people actively participating in cycling, whether competitively or for its health benefits
On the 31 July 2021 GCASA will be having kasi2kasi challenge, where they will be cycling from Ga Rankuwa to Soweto, with the aim of making the community aware of drug abuse amongst the youth.
Based in Ga Rankuwa Zone 16, the 49 year- old single father to two, had to hang –up his soccer boots after sustaining a nagging injury, and like a duck to water took on cycling to keep fit.
“I started cycling in 2010 after sustaining an injury and had to find an alternative method of keeping fit, that’s when I took interest in the sport. I was raised in a soccer loving family, my father (May his soul rest in peace) is the founder of Ga- Rankuwa Barcelona and I also played soccer at the team.”
Phiri said “ In our black communities cycling is not taken serious, because Cycling South Africa is not making it a point that black cyclists are natured and exposed to the sport, a lot of work is still needs to be done in this regard.
Explaining the vision of the academy Phiri said “Our academy is not just fighting substance abuse, but is also about developing these young stars into professionals, where they can make a leaving out of the sport. The support of our local businesses and the community is very important, as we need to make this a lifestyle, and get our kids from all kinds of substance abuse.
“We are funded by Lotto to buy our cycling kit and bikes, we now have Motsepe Funeral Home as our transport sponsor. Cycling is an all body workout, all the health benefits are found in cycling e.g it refreshes the mind, tones the muscles, improves your cardio and your reflexes, there’s just a lot of benefits,” said Phiri.
First step in clcling is to buy a bike, if you want to go pro, you’ll need to join an academy and if you just cycling for recreational purposes, you can just do it on your own or join a local group that cycle on weekends, this is a very expensive sport needs self-funding,, you only get sponsors when turning Pro and that only happens when you start giving good results.
My vision with cycling is to produce pro riders amongst our community and have a local MTB trail.