Change a Life Academy
21 Apr 2016
Written by: Kyle Gilham
RMB Change a Lifers impress at life-changing 36ONE MTB Challenge
Pietermaritzburg – Four athletes from Martin Dreyer’s RMB Change a Life MTB
Academy came away from the 36ONE MTB Challenge in Oudtshoorn in the Western
Cape on the weekend with a superb set of set of results, but more
importantly the young men grew significantly as individuals on the tough
The 361km, non-stop mountain biking event brought with it many firsts for
Sthembiso Masango, Mazwi Smimango, Ndumiso Dontso and Sipho Kupiso, many of
which aided rounding the quartet both as athletes and people alike.
“We are thrilled with how the guys went at the 36ONE MTB Challenge; that
they had a good trip, learnt a lot and also that all four of them finished
the race!” exuberated a proud Change a Life founder Dreyer.
“This was such a big learning curve for all four of them with none of them
having ever done anything like this before!
“Previously the furthest they’d ridden non-stop in a race was the 100km
Hill2Hill, let alone ridding in the dark of night and through the tough,
dry Karoo environment,” he added.
Masango and Smimango’s tenth and 21st respectively in the favoured men’s
solo category were notable individual efforts while Dontso and Kupiso
continued their remarkable pairing, racing to second place in the two man
Just as pleasing for Dreyer though was the exposure to something very
different to what his charges are used to and their desire to now push
“This was just such a great challenge for our guys that tested their
boundaries and pushed them mentally more than they’d ever been before.
“They’re now all so excited to try follow in John Ntuli’s footsteps and
take on The Munga later in the year, so this was the perfect stepping stone
“At first the task seemed a daunting one but with three water points – each
with a self-packed box of personal items. – and nine water points along the
way, it became about just focusing on one section at a time.
“Much like the saying, ‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time’,
this became a case of ‘How do you do the 36ONE MTB Challenge? One water
point at a time’.” explained Dreyer.
The warm Eastern Cape hospitality of the race organisers also meant the
determined quintet were well looked after and felt at home throughout their
“The people from the 36ONE MTB Challenge welcomed us with open arms –
looking after our entry, food, accommodation, etc. – and just seemed so
pleased to have us there; it was wonderful!
“It was also such a well presented event and is something completely
different to the usual marathons or stage races than many people are now so
“We’ll definitely be back again in the future!”
For Ntuli – now riding as a sponsored professional athlete for Merchants, a
Dimension Data company – the Old Mutual joBerg2c represents his next
challenge as he takes on the highly competitive men’s solo field while for
the remainder of Dreyer’s RMB Change a Life MTB Academy, the
Pietermaritzburg MTB Festival is next on the horizon before four CAL teams
tackle the iconic KAP sani2c in May.
download the hi-resolution pic
Change a Life
Academy logo - jpeg
RMB Change a
Life MTB Academy members Sipho Kupiso (front) and Ndumiso Dontos
(background), together with Sthembiso Masango and Mazwi Smimango, were
taken out of the comfort zone their usual Valley of a Thousand Hills
surrounds bring and tasked with the grueling 361km, non-stop 36ONE MTB
Challenge last weekend, a task they passed with flying colours.
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