EARLY in November 2005, PricewaterhouseCoopers in association with CBZ Bank Ltd, and supported by the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee, launched a joint corporate social responsibility initiative — “Team 3rive” at the National Sports Stadium in Harare.
Through the establishment of a foundation, PricewaterhouseCoopers and CBZ Bank Ltd have pledged their support to the initiative in an attempt to nurture a positive and conducive environment for the development of underprivileged racing cyclists in Zimbabwe.
The project aims to identify talent through a selection criterion, assisted by the Zimbabwe Cycling Federation, and to provide professional training and equipment, whilst exposing talented young cyclists to international events and training techniques.
Team 3rive currently consists of six riders that represent a mix of Harare and Mutare-based riders, and is managed by seasoned manager Ed Lambert.
The team also benefits from the expert coaching guidance of Legend Sports’ Rory Mackey, the World Duathlon Champion and Dave Gardner, the Amateur All Africa Triathlon Champion.
As well as equipping the team with technical expertise, PricewaterhouseCoopers and CBZ Bank recently sponsored a training camp in Nyanga, which in addition to dealing with the identification of talent, also encompassed team-building and race preparation.
In addition to competing, Team 3rive riders have been tasked with creating an awareness of the initiative through their participation at national and regional events throughout the year.
The team has experienced significant success already. Dean Hayes and Abel Muchenje won third and fifth places respectively at the tour of Bulawayo last October, and also achieved third and fifth places respectively at the Darwendale Dash last November.
Hayes and Muchenje were also selected to attend the UCI official training school, the African Continental Cycling Centre in South Africa last year. Hayes has been reselected for this year.
The hard work seems to be paying dividends for Hayes who returned during a break from this year’s camp to participate in the Manicaland Challenge held in the Vumba earlier this month and the National Cycling Road Race Championships to be held in Harare this weekend.
For the past five years the Manicaland Challenge has been won by one of Zimbabwe’s leading cyclists Antipas Kwari, who is considered in the cycling fraternity as a “climbing specialist”.
This year, Hayes managed to break that stranglehold, securing first place at the event and is also among the favourites to take first place at the nationals this weekend.
In the tour of Bulawayo, Hayes and Muchenje were supported by four young riders who were guesting for 3rive on loan from their usual cycling clubs.
Brian Zengeni, Prince Ngundu, Gordin Martin and Jackson Virajona subsequently rode in the World Cyclo-cross Championships in Europe along with Brighton Kaseke.
All five will also be riding this weekend at the National Road Race Championships, and will inevitably be out to impress, as they are all keen to be part of Team 3rive again!
Whilst Team 3rive is the elite racing team in the stable, PricewaterhouseCoopers and CBZ Bank Ltd want to ensure that cycling is encouraged at a wider grassroots level.
To assist them in achieving this, the foundation has established a cycling club called “Club 3rive” which all Team 3rive members are part of, but which is also open for other interested cyclists to join.
Membership of Club 3rive will enable young aspiring riders to ride and socialise with others with similar aspirations as well as learning from more experienced club members.
However, only by making the selection criterion for Team 3rive, will club members become eligible for the full support of the foundation in terms of cycling equipment and race expenses.
As concerned corporate citizens PricewaterhouseCoopers and CBZ Bank Ltd are involved in many activities and initiatives aimed at the development of youth in Zimbabwe. Uplifting and empowering the youth are common focal points of both organisations’ corporate social responsibility programmes.
“PricewaterhouseCoopers and CBZ Bank Ltd firmly believes that corporate Zimbabwe has an extremely important role to play in initiatives such as these and we are committed to making a difference through the initiatives that we support,” says David Scott, senior partner in charge of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Through Team 3rive, PricewaterhouseCoopers and CBZ Bank Ltd are making steady progress in helping to raise the profile of cycling in Zimbabwe and changing the landscape of competitive cycling. — Own Correspondent.