Ride Train Race: giving back to the community through youth development

RTR Academy practice for the MX Inland Championships on June 13, 2022. Front Row: Ulrich Sterley, Lourens Erasmus, Hanro Jacobs, Rayden Woolls, Tommy Whotherspoon, Cooper Harvey. [Middle:]Hendrico Barwise, Qhamani Thu, Liam Sterley [Back:] Zoe Botha, Travis Wills, Ger-drie de Beer, Luan du Plessis, Dad Cam with youngest rider Cody Wills.

Two former motocross champions, Tony Riddell and Ryan Hunt, use their combined experience to introduce youngsters to the thrills of dirt biking and motocross by providing training programs that encourage boys and girls to take up the sport. exciting sport.

The duo founded Ride Train Race to give back to the sport and the motocross and off-road riding communities. Along the way, they help kids have fun, stay safe, and even compete in indoor, regional, and national championships.

Between them Riddell and Hunt have won several championships and with the support of top brands such as Tork Craft and Motul they are currently focused on helping young RTR riders achieve their own goals.

Riddell and Hunt are committed to making the sport more inclusive and as such their training programs are aimed at boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 16, using bikes with engine sizes between 50cc and 125cc. Young riders can choose their own brand of bike and as RTR members they get great value from their monthly training fee, including four training sessions per week.

rtr academy, bikes, motorsport, young rider

Qhamani ‘Q’ Thu on the track.

To expand its reach and engage with more young riders, RTR is also working with other well-known pro riders such as Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul’s Hippocrates “Taki” Bogiages to mentor some sessions at various tracks at the national scale.

In addition to receiving training, students benefit from logistical support during races and events. The RTR offering has already attracted 80 riders with 35 actively racing – National MX, Regionals, Inland series, GXCC, Madalas and Enduro – across South Africa. Recently, young runners from neighboring Botswana have joined the academy choosing to travel to South Africa to train.

Riddell and Hunt say it is extremely gratifying to see how well their efforts to give back have been received by young riders and their parents alike. “We are thrilled to see our young mentees develop and progress in their driving skills,” they add.

Mercia Jansen, Motul area manager for Southern and Eastern Africa and the Indian Ocean, says: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to help train piloting enthusiasts, whether they are future champions of world or weekend warriors, and the coaches who make it happen.”

Comments from some young riders illustrate what makes Ride Train Race so special.

rtr academy, bikes, motorsport, young rider

Qhamani ‘Q’ Thu is part of the Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul team and a student of RTR.

Katelyn Pretorius (12), currently 7th in National Cross-Country and 9th in GXCC, says: “Making friends with kids who have the same interests, improving and motivating each other to become better riders is what I love most about being part of the RTR academy.”

Qhamani ‘Q’ Thu, 8, who currently competes in WOMSA Inlands, MSA Regionals and Nationals, said: “Mountain biking requires a lot of focus and dedication, so be brave, keep calm and enjoy the sport.”

Rayden Woolls, bikes, motorsport, young rider

Rayden Woolls on the trail

Rayden Woolls, 9, described his best moment this year as “…being chosen to represent South Africa again at the 2022 FIM Africa MXOAN (Motocross of African Nations) event”. Rayden currently leads the MSA Free State and MSA Northern Regions Regional Championships and placed third in the MSA National Championship.

motorsport, young rider, zoe botha, bikes

Zoe Botha is part of the Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Motul team and a student of RTR

WOMSA Inlands, MSA Regionals and Nationals participant Zoe Jae Botha (14) has the final say with this advice for any child wishing to take up the sport: “Start joining the racing community at a young age and don’t ‘n’ Don’t give up when it gets tough!”

Parents who want their children to join Ride Train Race can send them a direct message via their Instagram page.

About Barbara J. Ross

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