Aaron Heyneke loves riding his bicycle.
Ever since he could walk, he says, he was pedalling, and, following in the footsteps of his dad, it was logical that the sport he would take up, and excel at, would involve cycling.
He did BMX in primary school but when he changed over to mountain bike riding – the sport his father did – he was hooked, and his passion and dedication is starting to pay off as far as results are concerned.
Last Saturday he came first, in a massive field, in the Youth under-15 race at the Spur Mountain Bike meeting at St Stithians, and in the process he earned enough points to qualify for the Gauteng team that will compete in the nationals in October.
The Saints race, he explains, consisted of three 5km laps, and it was tough. “It’s one of the toughest courses that we race on, and it was hot, but those conditions suited me and I was too strong for the rest of the field,” he said.
The Spur series is an inter-school competition, and Jeppe has been entering teams all season. “It’s great to be representing the school at the sport,” Aaron said. “I’m just disappointed that the team didn’t qualify to go to the nationals as a school. Hopefully we can grow the sport at Jeppe so that we can send bigger teams like some of the other schools do.”
He is, however, grateful that he is getting recognition for his achievements, and the respect and admiration of his friends and class mates.
“Mountain biking is a great sport. I get to do what I love every weekend and I race with and against my mates. I thank my parents, and the team, for supporting me.”