Wintergreen Barrier Breakers Ambassador programme: Supporting Women in Cycling
- By: Renata Bossi
- Short URL: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/wintergreen-barrier-breakers
Wintergreen Barrier Breakers, in partnership with Khaltsha Cycles, are coming together to raise funds to support two amazing female cyclists in the community of Cape Town,Khayelitsha.
Yamkela Mfazwe and Khanya Yenani share a common goal and that’s to become successful cyclists who can inspire change within the sport of cycling by getting more women on bicycles. The pair have been part of a youth cycling academy, but unfortunately due to no development there, they decided to go on their own.
With COVID-19 making it difficult to race, the riders will be taking on the legendary Cape Town Cycle Tour on the 10th of October (the CTCT has very kindly donated some entries for them!) making it their first race for 2021. Let get them ready!
We're also happy to share that the riders have received a spot at the Wine2Whales 2022 event, which will make them the first black female riders from Khayelitsha to take on the amazing 3 days mountain biking race.
Read each rider’s story below:
I started cycling with Velokhaya; they taught me how to cycle, the rules of cycling and how the industry of cycling works. They treated me with ‘tough love because every day I was pushed to get out of my comfort zone to achieve more. They said I had a lot of potentials and I held onto that. It was not easy, but it kept me strong because every day when I woke up, I would tell myself that I must do better than yesterday.
Training with the boys was very challenging at times, but I ended up enjoying it because I was improving every day. Cycling takes me to many places and gives me the opportunity to clear my head and enjoy the views away from the struggles of Khayelitsha.
We grew up using bicycles to commute: riding unsafe bikes with no helmets - this was my introduction to the sport. But, what really grew my interest and motivation to get into this sport was my best friend, Khanya. She was cycling for her school and I was like, "if she can do this, then I can too.", and that’s how I became part of the cycling family.
In 2020, I first became aware of Khaltsha Cycles. We went there to buy cycling parts, and then met Sindile, the owner. He invited us to visit the bike shop more often and told us about the lessons and social rides Khaltsha hosts.
We (Khanya and myself) were interested to join more group rides, and so attended a few social rides hosted by Khaltsha Cycles and began meeting with new people and other cyclists. Soon after that, a day wouldn't pass by without us visiting Khaltsha Cycles, so we could learn more about cycling.
My biggest goal to achieve through cycling is to put a spotlight on cycling in South Africa and help grow this sport in my country. My other goals are to cycle more and win races, and to ride for an elite team, becoming the second Black South African pro-female cyclist.
My inspiration in this sport is the happiness it gives me, the lessons I learn along the way, and the incredible people I met through cycling. Cycling gives me freedom, opportunity, and output to positively challenge my body and mind.
Cycling has played a big role in making me the woman that I am today. Little did I know that at the age of 15, I'd be racing against other female cyclists that I don't know.
2019 was the biggest year of my life. I was the only girl on my team, and I had to hide my feminine side and be part of a boy's team. We trained together from Tuesdays to Fridays and had team camps over the weekend in preparation for racing on Sundays, which was my favorite.
The boys in my team kept me motivated. They used to say: "Khanya, if you are not going to make it onto the podium, at least be in the top 5."
At 16, I already knew what my life goal was. I just knew I had to push through. The pandemic delayed my dream, but I'm thankful that I met people like Sindile Mavundla who has also enlightened me as to how I should push through to achieve my dream. Zanele Tshoko, the first female professional cyclist I had been in contact with, has also been a huge inspiration.
Of course, working towards being a professional cyclist takes time and hard work. That's exactly what I'm going to do. I'm going to work hard. I'm praying that 4 or 5 years from now, I will be good enough to ride the women's Tour de France. Nicholas Dlamini is representing us this year, and I want to represent South Africa in the next few years.
The riders are currently in need of two road bicycles and two mountain bikes. With your support, we will secure the following items on behalf of the riders:
- Bicycles (road and mountain bikes).
- Cycling kit.
- Cycling shoes.
- Race entries.
- Training equipment.
- Spare parts.
As Wintergreen Barrier Breakers, it is our mission to connect, inspire and empower women through the sport of cycling. We are committed to supporting Yomelela and Khanya to reach their goals of getting better and excelling in cycling and on their shared vision of empowering more young black women and girls into the sport. The pair will also be part of the Wintergreen Barrier Breakers Ambassador programme. More details will be revealed soon.
- Dec 05, 2021 - R 1 000.00
- "We love the vision of seeing more women in cycling and on bicycles. All the best Yamkela and Khanya." - Womxn for Wild
- Oct 08, 2021 - USD $ 13.37
- "Khanya & Yomemela - You are the future of #WomenInCycling for all of South Africa! Ride and Conquer!" - Nomalanga (aka Paulina)
- Sep 21, 2021 - R 500.00
- "Best wishes to you Yamkela and Khanya! " - Rodney Takunda
- Sep 02, 2021 - USD $ 34.73
- "It’s your world!" - Pam TK
- Aug 29, 2021 - R 500.00
- "Wishing you guys the best" - Philemon
- Aug 27, 2021 - R 100.00
- "Good Luck ladies" - Amanda
- Aug 24, 2021 - USD $ 102.32
- "Wish I was there to join you for this. " - Pawley Boboli
- Aug 10, 2021 - USD $ 37.82
- "Go go gooo!" - hwurbelbert
- Aug 05, 2021 - R 500.00
- "Tegan and Team, All the best with your long journey and cause, you are a superstar!! Sue & Steph" - Stephanie
- Aug 05, 2021 - R 300.00
- "Tegs, you are a super star" - Peter Sanders
- Jul 31, 2021 - R 500.00
- "Good luck Tegan. What a great cause. " - Tash Dulin
- Jul 31, 2021 - USD $ 13.69
- "Making dreams come true " - T W E Kaudi
- Jul 30, 2021 - USD $ 68.72
- "Keep on pushing past possible. You are amazing." - Tsheli
- Jul 30, 2021 - R 1 000.00
- "The best friend you can ever have is a bicycle and we are happy to support you to own one. Vamos ladies, Vamos :)" - Selaelo and Kyle
- Jul 30, 2021 - USD $ 13.74
- "All the best…" - Calvin T
- Jul 29, 2021 - USD $ 16.96
- "Good luck girls!" - B Royce
- Jul 29, 2021 - USD $ 33.92
- "Ride on, Yomelela and Khanya !!! Wishing you the best! " - Stacy
- Jul 28, 2021 - R 100.00
- "Let’s make it happen for the girls" - Amanda
- Jul 28, 2021 - USD $ 33.79
- "your cartoons bring so much joy . Hope there’s some joy on your ride" - Nik
- Jul 27, 2021 - R 200.00
- "Tegan you are a champ!" - Moizie
- Jul 27, 2021 - R 800.00
- "Go Yamkela and Khanya!!" - Sarah and Ann Acton
- Jul 27, 2021 - R 1 000.00
- "Women on bikes - what a joy and a worthy cause to support! " - Stacey
- Jul 27, 2021 - R 500.00
- "Yay bikes, big yay women on bikes!" - Becky
- Jul 23, 2021 - USD $ 67.97
- "Amazing initiative " - Phïets Academy
- Jul 13, 2021 - R 1 000.00
- "Can't think of a better cause :)" - Stuart