Teenage Pretoria cyclist Ian Els is thrilled with the chance that has come his way after being appointed as an ambassador for HEAD Bikes in South Africa.
The 15-year-old Pretoria schoolboy will make his debut in the role on Saturday in Bloemfontein, where he will compete in the SA National XCO Championships.
The Garsfontein grade 9 pupil is over the moon with the chance he has received and described the call from HEAD Bikes SA to join them as an ambassador as “my greatest phone call ever”.
“The HEAD Bikes team have strong values because cycling is their life, too, and they also love every second of what they do,” said Els.
Having started on July 1, he will fill the role until August 31 next year, getting a dream opportunity to promote HEAD’s quality products.
The partnership will provide him with a top-of-the-range hardtail bike from HEAD, the Trenton IV. In addition he will receive casual HEAD apparel and a Westfalia BC 75 bicycle carrier to facilitate his transportation needs.
Having been a cycling fanatic since he can remember, Els, who lives in Zwavelpoort in Pretoria, said the bike had always been “my happy place”.
“Cycling is my life. I work very hard, but I love every second of it,” he said.
“When younger cyclists approach me and I realise that I have made a difference – well, that is why we live.”
Having made representing his country at the Olympic Games his ultimate goal, he said reaching his full potential in every race he entered was part of the journey.
A HEAD Bikes SA spokesman said Els’s dedication and commitment to the sport made him the perfect fit for the role of ambassador.
“He is a humble young man who appreciates what he gets in life and has achieved a great deal in the sport through hard work,” he said. “He is an example to younger riders.”