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7 Nov

Minister Ronald Lamola’s Biking Challenge To Aid The Poor

Staying active is important and beneficial for the mind, body and soul. For both young and old, healthy habits can always be adopted, turning sports and fitness into a lifestyle. 

Through his cycling initiative, Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola aims to achieve this very objective in the lives of South Africa’s youngsters.

On the 5th of November, the minister hosted the mountain bike challenge at Asidlale Adventure Park in Leeuwkop.

Consisting of both cycling and trail running, the event merged fun and fitness and boasted participants ranging from professional cyclists to amateur riders. The overall intention was to have a fitness-filled morning for the young and old across all demographics while raising funds. Proceeds generated go towards securing mountain bikes for school children in historically disadvantaged communities. 

“Not only does this introduce the youth to a new sport, but they will also have a reliable mode of transport to and from school,” said the minister. 

Lamola was very intentional in choosing the beneficiaries of the funds raised. Through his observation as Minister of Justice and Correctional services, he believes taking a developmental perspective was key. 

“Our correctional facilities are full of young black males in the majority. The reasons for them entering the criminal justice system vary.

 I think the fact that our historically disadvantaged communities are thin on recreational and sports activities is a factor. With this initiative, we contribute towards resolving this problem”. 

He also added that the multiple health benefits that come with cycling cannot be overemphasized, especially for school children. As such, he views this initiative as a way of contributing to healthy bodies and healthy minds.

This mountain bike challenge is but one reflection of the minister’s passionate nature. As a leader who strives for justice and is intentional about serving with purpose, he revealed that his upbringing contributed immensely to the kind of leader he is today. 

“I grew up on a farm, and once I was of school-going age I noticed that the community I lived in was subjected to a separate development path along the lines of race. That was the first level of injustice I encountered and felt. This has shaped my outlook and desire for justice,” he said. 

The lawyer and politician also admitted that the greatest leadership challenge he has seen thus far has been to recalibrate the state so that its capacity is felt in the lives of ordinary South Africans. Through his journey of leadership, Lamola has learnt plenty of profound and thought-provoking lessons. One of the most significant for him relates to impact. 

“Government can be immensely impactful if we focus on what should be accomplished,” he shared. 
When he is not attending to his ministerial duties, Lamola can be found curled up with a book. As an avid reader, some of the books that have shaped his life include Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk To Freedom, as well as Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China by sociologist Ezra Vogel. He is also a fan of football and values spending time with his family. 

As he continues to occupy a position of leadership, Lamola’s one wish for South Africa is that we deepen equality (and lessen inequality) in order to truly transform the nation and see it live up to its full potential. 

1 Comment
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