Mountain Biking was introduced at Herzlia in 2016 with a grand total of two regular riders joining coach Katja Steenkamp of Breakaway Rides for a weekly ride on a Wednesday afternoon. Katja, who has completed the Cape Epic and ridden down Mount Kilimanjaro, amongst many other notable achievements, has been instrumental in motivating Herzlia pupils, working closely with Herzlia staff to grow the sport to what it is today.
2023 saw mountain biking being offered at Highlands Primary for the first time. From two pupils once a week we now have close to 30 pupils riding Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from both the Highlands campuses. In addition to the weekly rides, we also try to host at least one out ride per term. The outrides make use of the many exciting and technical trails in and around Cape Town, including Tokai, Meerendal, Contermanskloof, Hoogekraal, Oak Valley and many more!
The introduction of riding at Highlands Primary has also become an opportunity for our student leaders to give back to the community by assisting the coaches and helping to coach the younger primary school riders. Not only are these pupils giving back, but they are also learning a valuable skill in how to coach and earn points for the President’s Award.
It has been amazing to watch mountain biking at Herzlia grow over the years into not only a popular sport but also an opportunity for pupils, parents and staff to bond – something sport is able to do so well. Unlike many other sporting codes, mountain biking is one of the few sports that pupils will continue with into their adult lives placing even more value on the skills learnt on the Astro at Highlands or the trails in Deer Park.