The coronavirus pandemic has left the South African economy in tatters and New Africa Developments, title sponsors of Team NAD, is just one more company to feel the pinch.
The retail property development company said in a statement yesterday that it would be ending its sponsorship of the mountain bike team with “immediate effect”.
This was to ensure that all available funds could be channelled towards meeting the financial burden caused by Covid-19, according to NAD CEO Japie van Niekerk.
The company needed to provide its tenants with rental relief and contributed directly to the safety of its shoppers by providing free sanitising and other products that enforced social distancing.
“At this difficult time our company’s primary obligation must be towards its staff and the customers served by our shopping malls,” said Van Niekerk.
“The commitment and dedication of Nico Bell and his team has always been faultless. The decision to effectively end it has nothing to do with the team itself, but rather with the extraordinary circumstances in which we all find ourselves.”
The team was created five years ago by Bell and Van Niekerk with the intention of raising the standard of the sport by providing opportunities for talented riders to race professionally.
They have achieved at national and international level and – with riders such as Bell, Matt Beers and Wessel Botha on the team sheet – this year was expected to be their most dominant yet.
Some of their achievements this season included Bell’s Sabie Classic and Barberton XCM MTB Challenge wins, Beers’ Knysna Bull and Attakwas titles and Botha’s runner-up spot behind Alan Hatherly in the first leg of the SA MTB Cup Series.