When he climbs a bicycle for a race, 21-year-old Abeng Malete’s aim is to cross the finish line ahead of everybody else. His dream ever since he started cycling has always been to become a professional cyclist and move outside the country. Malete’s is on the verge of realising this dream as he is currently based in South Africa at Sampada Cycling Club. Sampada is a semi-professional club, this even heightening his chances of becoming professional at some point. Since moving to South Africa at the beginning of 2017, the Ramotswa-born youngster’s performance has seen a tremendous growth. This has been evident in the recent races the young rider competed in lately. Malete has recently won two challenges in a space of two weeks where he scooped position one in the Jwaneng Mine GM’s Cycling Challenge (110km) before emerging victorious in the President’s Charity Cycle Challenge (112km). This performance has not gone unnoticed by Botswana Cycling Association (BCA) as they are monitoring his growth. BCA secretary General Talamelo Dube said the association is looking to develop young riders to grow cycling in the country. He said they are happy with Malete’s progress and they have called on his local club Jon Mol Cycling Club to submit his name to be considered for Botswana National Sport Commission support through programmes like the Zebra Fund and the Sport Development Fund.
Malete’s career in cycling started back in 2014 when he went for trials for the national team to represent the country in the 2nd Africa Youth Games held in Gaborone. Though he did not make the cut for the team he did not give up on cycling. His determination and love for cycling kept him focused as he then joined the Ramotswa-based Jon Mol Cycling Club. It was at this club that his potential came into the open. The then club chairman David Lebalelo confirmed in 2016 that Malete has the potential to become Botswana’s cycling export if he could be well nurtured. Lebalelo said the young cyclist had all the qualities needed to become a professional rider in future. “He only needs proper management and nurturing and will become Botswana’s cycling export in the near future,” said Lebalelo. With Jon Mol Cycling Club having struck an agreement with Sampada to host the rider in South Africa, they believe that as the club is semi-professional it will greatly help him to build on strength and potential to become a great cyclist.
Dube said BCA is even working on getting the young athlete an International Riding License which is needed in South Africa. “For him to compete in the races in South Africa he needs this license and we are working round the clock to get him licensed,” he said. Dube said this will help Malete to compete in more races and get rated which will elevate the country to higher ranks. The soft-spoken Malete said his ultimate aim is to see himself riding professionally. He will work hard to see that dream come true. The young man attributed his steady growth in cycling to the passion and determination he has for cycling. He said with the two everything is possible and is planning to fulfil his future dream. He said when he cycles he puts all his energy on it.