Cycle Classic future hangs in the balance

By Michael Uugwanga 

THE Namibian Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Classic which is heading into its 21st season could find itself without a sponsor as Pick ‘n Pay is currently facing financial difficulties caused by Covid-19 which could have a negative impact on the future of the annual race. 
The event which is expected to take place in October is co-sponsored by Pick ‘n Pay, a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group, and The Namibian newspaper and sanctioned by the Namibian Cycling Federation. 
The Cycle Classic serves as the main fundraising event for Rotary Club Windhoek. Funds are also raised with companies sponsoring water points, while several other companies also sponsor various needy cyclists to compete. 
In an interview this week, O&L Group manager: corporate communication, Roux-ché Locke said the organisation is not in a position to discuss the sponsorship future at this stage, despite saying that negotiations between the parties are in progression. 
“Given the sensitive climate we find ourselves in, and which I am sure you understand, as well as the fact that discussions and negotiations are in progress, we are not in the position to provide you with feedback at this stage. At this point, we unfortunately cannot divulge any official feedback to any questions, specifically with respect to Pick ‘N Pay’s current developments, as final decisions are still in the process and the future of Pick ‘N Pay  still under scrutiny. An official statement will be issued when the way forward is finalised,” she said. 
Pick ‘n Pay is the main sponsor of the event, while The Namibian plays a leading role, sponsoring various cyclists from Katutura, including a 10-member cycling team from the Physically Active Youth Namibia, 15 cyclists of the Windhoek on Bike community development cycling club, six riders of the Wheelchair Disability Cycling Club, and a further 15 riders of the BMX Kiddies Community Development Club. 
The Namibian Cycling Federation has said that it will only give a statement on the matter at a later stage when sent questions regarding the future with the sponsors.  
Drikus Coetzee was the 2019 winner in the male category, while Michelle Vorster won the women’s race.