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14 March 2022
SRES Gears Up To Play A Vital Role in the Absa Cape Epic 2022
A team of students from UWC’s Department of Sport, Recreation and Exercise Science (SRES) will have a chance to put their expertise to use later this month at the largest full-service mountain bike stage race in the world. 

Two UWC staff members, alongside 77 students from the department, will be on hand to offer support to the athletes and organisers and gain invaluable real-world experience at the Absa Cape Epic, one of the most prestigious sports events in South Africa.

The off-road bike race, which takes place from 20 to 27 March this year, has exploded in popularity around the world. It was first staged in 2008 and immediately attracted professional and amateur racers from around the globe.

"Our students take on numerous roles at the Epic, everything from recovery work, team management, and branding to basic logistical work. It all fits into their study program as it gives real exposure to athletes, structures, and a world-class event where they can learn from being exposed to the very best," said Professor Barry Andrews, project coordinator for the SRES Cape Epic team.
Members of the UWC SRES team at the 2021 edition of the Absa Cape Epic


UWC SRES – located in the Community and Health Sciences Faculty – will be joined by students from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and the University of Stellenbosch, who will also be providing support at the event.

Mandisa Maphisa, a SRES student expressed his gratitude and excitement at the news by saying ‘We are students in the sports industry, which is a very unique and broad industry filled with many opportunities such as the Cape Epic. I'm very grateful to be a part of something I used to watch on TV over the years.’

Not only is the Absa Cape Epic an incredible opportunity for students to see and understand what goes into an event of this nature, but it also gives them a real opportunity to network for future possibilities.

"It’s an opportunity to work with people who come from different countries," said Andunae Davids, another SRES student. ‘We talk, we relate and we learn from each other. It's a platform where I can build future contacts in my stream that I'm interested in, and most importantly, it's the memories you make and experiences that come with it,’.
 
UWC students had offered their services at this event in the past, but when the COVID-19 struck the country, the organisers were forced to hit the brakes on the event. In 2020, the Epic was cancelled just one day before registration began, and the following year, 2021, no spectators were allowed to be part of the event. 

So even though, strict COVID-19 protocols will be followed at the 2022 competition, it’s a great sign of things getting back to normal where –  as another student, Michell Lucas, put it – “so many different cultures” will come together to compete and learn from each other.
 
*Watch this space and UWC social media for SRES activities and activations at Cape Epic 2022