Thando Zothe has been a member of the Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy since 2007.
Growing up he never thought of becoming a professional cyclist or duathlete. As a young boy, he played soccer or participated in athletics, encouraged by his late father who ran with him every morning at 5am.
His father’s death left a void in his life and that’s when he came across Velokhaya. And he says life hasn’t been the same for him since.
One of his most recent highlights was being selected to participate in his first duatlon, in which he took second place. He also took second place at the South African National Duathlon Championships in May 2013 (his second only duathlon) but due to a lack of funds, was unable to attend the 2013 World Duathlon event in Ottawa, Canada (despite being selected).
He says he is most grateful to the Academy for its support and feels that he has truly benefited from the support of corporate sponsors – such as Pick and Pay and Safmarine – who have, through their open hearts and generosity, made it possible for him to make something out of his life.
After matriculating in 2010 from Bergvliet High School, Shaun Doch (21) joined the Velokhaya Life Cycling Academy to pursue his passion for the sport of cycling and to provide moral support to Academy members.
Shaun is both an active cyclist and mentor at Velokhaya and was recently appointed Manager of the Academy’s senior scholar team. He has made a hands-on and significant contribution to both the personal development of Academy members and to the Academy’s programmes.
For example, Shaun has been featured/quoted in Velokhaya interviews in both local and international media and has hosted large groups, representing a number of local and international organisations, where he has delivered the Velokhaya message with eloquence, sensitivity and impact.
In 2013 Shaun completed a year-long learnership with Do Communicate, a Cape Town-based PR/Communications consultancy. The learnership provided Shaun with a strong foundation and experience in several aspects related to public relations and communication. These include press release and newsletter writing, how to leverage social media channels as well as an introduction to brand and CSR related communication.
The learnership also gave Shaun the opportunity to develop his photography, photo-editing and writing skills as well as participate in the production of the bi-annual Velokhaya newsletter and a quarterly magazine.
Shaun is an active leader within his community and during his free time enjoys mentoring and assisting young children by providing educational support and instilling in them a passion for healthy living.
Shaun lives in Khayelitsha with his mother, nephew and older sister.
Zanele Tshoko – Velokhaya/Pick n Pay Team
One of Velokhaya’s top female cyclists, Zanele Tshoko, has been a member of our Academy since 2005. Zanele – the 2007 winner of the Western Province Cycling Association’s ‘Female Cyclist of the Year’ title – was the only female Velokhaya cyclist to participate in the SA Cycling Championships in February 2014.
In March 2014, she was selected as the LikeBike ambassador for the 2014 Cape Argus Pick n Pay Momentum Cycle Tour. As the LikeBike ambassador, Zanele powered the official Pick n Pay LikeBike at the Cycle Tour.
Date of birth: 15 February 1993
Where do you live: Khayelitsha
Where were you born: Khayelitsha, Cape Town
Studies: I am currently studying Sports Science at the University of the Western Cape (I am doing my second year in 2014)
When did you start cycling: In 2005
What do you like most about cycling: I enjoy riding a bike and the exercise and fitness involved with cycling.
What has cycling taught you: Discipline, respect and how to communicate with other people. Cycling has also helped me a lot because it keeps me busy and I do not have time to wonder around bored and not knowing what to do.
How many Cycle Tours have you completed: I have completed six Cycle Tours. This year (2014) will be my seventh.
What are the dreams for your future: To study and finish my degree and also to be a cyclist in one of SA’s top cycling teams. My dream is to be cycling at the highest level.
Who is the person you admire most in cycling: Luthando Kaka, the South African cyclist who started out at the Life Cycling Academy and who is now riding for one of South Africa’s top cycling teams in Johannesburg.
How do your parents feel about your involvement in cycling: My parents are supportive and they like what I do.
What attracts you to this sport as a girl – compared to other sports: I used to see cyclists passing by my house and I would watch them passing and I really had a desire to cycle one day. When the Safe Cycling program was introduced at my school it gave me the opportunity to get involved in the sport. I then joined the Academy.
Past achievements include:
- Selected as the Western Province Cycling Association’s ‘Female Cyclist of the Year’ in 2007.
- Won a gold medal in 2008 at the Western Province Road and Time Trial Championships.
- Took second place in the time trials in the SA Championships in 2009 and third in the road category.
- Zanele was one of six Velokhaya cyclists and the only female cyclist to be invited to the 2007 Tour de France to raise awareness for Velokhaya.
- Zanele was the only female elite athlete to compete at the SA cycling championships held in Durban in February 2014.
Profile date: February, 2014
Coming soon: More profiles!