World Bicycle day acknowledges the uniqueness, sustainability and the versatility of the bicycle, which has been in use for 2 centuries. The bicycle is seen to be a fit, sustainable and environmentally friendly mode of transportation that fosters environmental presidency and health. 
The bicycle as a means of transportation has transcended over 2 centuries and still provides the same amount of utility as it did 2 centuries ago. The use of the bicycle has managed to ensure sustainable mobility for all people. It has for centuries ensured that people who walk long distances have access to a mode of transportation that allows them to conduct their duties in a fast and timely manner. The dedication by the UN, to recognise a day in celebration of the bicycle recognizes the longevity and equalizer the cycling tool has been to some communities.
On the 12th of April 2018 the United Nations general assembly agreed to declare 3 June as world bicycle day. The first world bicycle day was celebrated for the first time on 3 June 2018. Recognising the importance of the bicycle as a sustainable transportation tool that is directly aligned to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Initiatives were proposed to the General assembly to organise bicycle rides on national and local levels as a means to promote physical and mental health and well being in our societies.
In Namibia, the Physically Active Youth (PAY) is a civil society organisation (CSO) that provides after school quality educational services to children that reside in the Katutura Township. The organisation takes in approximately one hundred learners on an annual basis.PAY is well known for it’s after school academic support to the Namibian child, it includes tutoring, overseeing homework followed by a structured sports programme. Physical education is a primary role of the organisation. PAY Namibia offers a variety of sporting choices of which cycling is one. PAY emphasis three main goals with regards to sport, which are:
- ‘To use sport as a tool to keep the youth engaged and off the streets’.
- ‘To integrate sport and life skills education in order to promote healthy lifestyle behaviours’
- ‘To develop the sport through breeding young talents and bringing opportunities to play for national teams and offer professional development opportunities’
PAY’s cycling team is performing very well in the local mountain bike events happening in Namibia. One of the prestigious mountain bike events which the team have set their eyes on is the internationally recognised Nedbank Desert Dash, a premium cycling event attracting broad participation locally and internationally. The 24 hour mountain bike challenge is 369km ride from Windhoek to Swakopmund, riding through the Namib Desert. PAY’s cycling team would like to participate in this cycling event offering the youngsters the opportunity to compete alongside professional and amateur cyclists from around the world. The PAY cycling team are thus seeking assistance from individuals organisations and well-wishers who are able to donate in kind to enable the organisation to purchase additional bicycles for the upcoming Nedbank Desert Dash.
The bicycle is not just a mere transportation tool, through organisations such as PAY, the bicycle is a tool that is empowering young people to become physically fit and active and pursue a sport code which would have been inaccessible to them before. Cycling is helping to transform the lives of the young people at PAY, opening opportunities which previously did not exist, This is the power a bicycle has, when its potential to transform and change lives is harnessed as a tool to empower youth. Continue reading