The promising career of teenage cyclist Ian Els has received a boost after he was named as an ambassador for HEAD Bikes in South Africa.
The 15-year-old Pretoria schoolboy will get his first chance to promote the highly rated cycling equipment on Saturday in Bloemfontein, where he will compete in the SA National XCO Championships.
Els said 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,” 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.
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”.
“To be the South African champion in XCO and represent my country is my aim, but I think the most important thing in life is to love and enjoy what you do,” said last year’s Spur Schools Series national champion.
“Cycling is my life. I work very hard, but I love every second of it.
“When younger cyclists approach me and I realise that I have made a difference – well, that is why we live.”
A HEAD Bikes SA spokesman said Els’s dedication and commitment to the sport made him the perfect fit for the role of ambassador.
“His approach to mountain biking and appreciation of the opportunities he has received are an example to all young cyclists,” he said.