Ricochet News

Needy youth benefit from family Baywest Mall trail proceeds

Jul 20, 2017
Needy youth benefit from family Baywest Mall trail proceeds

The Eastern Cape’s largest shopping and retail centre, Baywest Mall in Port Elizabeth, is also set to become one of the region’s key outdoor sporting destinations after a busy winter holiday season on its newly launched mountain bike trails.

On Thursday, the shopping centre handed over the proceeds from its Ride for the Youth launch event, which took place on National Youth Day, to the Eastern Province Child and Youth Care Centre.

Around 300 riders took part in the 1km kids’ dash, 6km and 12km social rides, and 18km feature race on June 16, raising R5,000 in the process.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, Baywest Mall’s marketing manager, Lindsay Steele, said co-sponsors Old Mutual, Nutritech and Fat Tracks Mountain Bike Club had unanimously agreed on the beneficiary, as it was the oldest youth care centre in the city, providing support for over one hundred children between the ages of four and 18 years.

“Our Youth Day event was all about encouraging families to spend quality time together exploring our beautiful trails, so it was especially important to support those youngsters who don’t have that advantage,” said Steele.

She confirmed that there had been an uptick in interest in the trails over the past few weeks owing to the school holidays and awareness around the launch event.

“Because of the success of our family ride, we are looking at making it an annual event on our calendar as well as hosting similar events, such as trail running. But we encourage members of the public to come and enjoy our trails any day of the year.”

According to Fat Tracks chairman Johan Gerryts, the Baywest MTB Trails cross technically undemanding terrain, with varied coastal bush, fynbos and forest scenery.

“It’s a well-balanced mix of 10% gravel road, 40% Jeep track and 50% single track. Riders can choose to do the full 12km loop or take one of the shortcuts for a 6km or 9km ride,” said Gerryts.

The trails start opposite the Fun Factory entrance (Entrance 4) and are open daily from sunrise to sunset.

Entrance is free but riders are encouraged to make a donation towards developing the trails by scanning the Fat Tracks Zapper QR code. Baywest Mall carries the costs and responsibility for maintaining the trails.

Image: BIG CHEQUE:EP Child & Youth Care Centre was the official beneficiary of the inaugural Baywest Ride for the Youth mountain bike event. Presenting a cheque to the young residents are (front, from left) Baywest Mall marketing manager Lindsay Steele, with Pumla Sodela, Kiara Zevenster, (back from left), Danielle Janse van Rensburg and Gladwyn Lindemann, all of Old Mutual. (IMAGE: SUPPLIED)