TEAM BENN: TEAM BENN JUNIOR
Team BEN Namibia Junior is a group of Namibia's most promising cyclists committed to bicycle racing in Namibia.
After being supplied with second-hand bicycles donated from Bicycles from Humanity and Tour d'Afrique, the first four members of Team BENN Junior have been training with an after-school cycling program for 6-months. Showing incredible talent and dedication to the sport, the young cyclists have dreams of being future cycling champions of Namibia.
But more than that, Team BENN junior is dedicated to combatting HIV and AIDS, promoting healthy lifestyles and encouraging young people to get involved in sports.
“The team is promoting HIV/AIDS awareness and encouraging engagement in all sports as a way of avoiding risky lifestyles through promotional activities and presentations,” explains Michael Linke, managing director of BEN Namibia.
Already, Team BENN junior members have taken part in the Spin for Life tour, promoting HIV testing in various communities in Namibia. In the upcoming months, they will join other members of Team BENN as they continue to tour the country.
Team BENN Junior is comprised of:
Namibia is one of Africa's strongest cycling countries, despite its small population of 1.8 million people. Although there are many Namibians with the desire to be champions, few are able to make it because of the constraints of poverty.
Team BEN Namibia aims to give young cyclists a hand up on their way to great achievements.
All team members are committed cyclists and some have already had a taste of competing outside of Namibia. They all know what it is to start out with very little and work towards a dream and each is very clear about how their success can inspire other youth from their communities. In this way, Team BEN Namibia aims to be a platform for the development of cycling in Namibia.
The team is also committed to promoting awareness of issues surrounding HIV/AIDS and acting as role models for their peers. The Spin for Life tour will visit towns throughout Namibia and launch incentive schemes for people to get tested.
A pilot scheme, where a bicycle was offered as a prize with other incentives, saw testing increase from 49 people per month to 310 in the month the incentives were offered.