Race Report from the 2023 SA BMX Nationals


Race Report

On Wednesday the 4th October myself, Brad Stow, along with my partner Nicole Murphy and her sister Christine Yiannakis left Durbanville and met five very excited kids at the clubhouse in Stellenbosch. We loaded our bikes and luggage into the Toyota Quantum that was very kindly loaned to us by Bobby Behan and James Ross-Marsh from Specialized Bicycles and began the 1 800km drive to the Queensburgh BMX track in, Durban, Kwazulu Natal. 

The five songo kids that joined us were Lakhanya Skhobongwane, Ovayo Ntsenge, Khanya Xhapha, Uviwe Tshali and Mihlali Stuurman. 

Race Report

The kids taking part in 2023 were: Lakhanya Skhobongwane, Ovayo Ntsenge, Khanya Xhapha, Uviwe Tshali and Mihlali Stuurman.

We spent Wednesday night in Bloemfontein and then woke up at 3am in order to be at the track by 1pm on Thursday, so that the kids could have a quick practice session. The Queensburgh Club had made some big changes to the track and it had a few very challenging features, so I wanted the songo team to have enough time to get comfortable on the track without feeling rushed or under pressure. After a few hours at the track we headed to our accommodation in Scottsburgh which was a 40min drive from the track. 

After looking at accommodation online I realised the best option would be to rent an entire house and split the costs between songo, Nicole, Christine and my brother Darryn. It also gave the kids some space and privacy and also the ability for us to cook breakfast and dinner each day instead of eating out which is expensive and less healthy. I really think that staying in the house together was one of the highlights of the trip.


The swimming pool was the undoubted highlight of the accomodation.

On Friday morning we did another practice session at the track and then we all decided to have a relaxing afternoon at the house. I invited some friends of songo for a braai and we all spent time in the pool and played soccer with the kids. It was an awesome afternoon.

On Saturday morning we were all awake early and arrived at the Queensburgh BMX track for the final two legs of the SA Cup series for 2023. The SA Cup series is different to SA Champs in a few important ways. SA Cup consists of 8 legs which take place on different tracks over the course of the year. Each leg consists of 4 races and the person who earns the most points from the 8 legs is the overall SA Cup winner in his or her age category. SA Champs, on the other hand, is a one off race in which the winner is crowned SA BMX Champ. It is the most prestigious title to win but is also the hardest. 

The level of riding was very high but all the kids performed well at the SA Cup on Saturday with Khanya and Uviwe both finishing in the top 3 in their respective age groups. The big thing for me was that they showed good sportsmanship and gave their absolute all. BMX racing is very unpredictable and anything can happen so the worst thing a rider can do is to give up half way through their lap. 

Sunday morning was the big event, SA BMX Champs! Unfortunately the weather didn’t play along and we had lots of interruptions throughout the morning which meant the event was cut short. This made it very difficult to work out the results but the organisers did a good job under difficult circumstances. 

Ovayo Ntsenge with his bronze medal.

Results for SA Champs are as follows:

  • Ovayo Ntsenge: SA3 – 13 year old boys 
  • Khanya Xhapha: SA6 – 14 and over girls
  • Mihlali Stuurman  SA5 – 9 boys 
  • Uviwe Tshali: SA4 – 11-13 girls

Lakhanya didn’t make the final unfortunately. He is competing in a very tough category but it allows us to see what he needs to work on and in what areas he can improve. 

After prizegiving we packed the van and began the long drive back to Stellenbosch. The kids were all exhausted and slept most of the way home and we arrived safely in Kayamandi on Monday. 

Race Report

Safely home at the clubhouse, SA number boards proudly on display.

I feel like this trip was a huge success and we all had an amazing time and made memories that will stay with us for years to come. I got to know and understand each of the kids on a deeper level. All of them behaved extremely well and it was a pleasure travelling with them. I especially appreciated Lakhanya’s help and the way he stepped up as the eldest and made sure the younger kids were safe and comfortable as well as making sure they behaved.  

A huge thanks must go to Specialized Bicycles South Africa for the use of their vehicle as well as Ninety One for their continued support! I’d also like to thank Sam and Connor Harman, as well as Ash, Finley and Brad Neil, on behalf of all of us at, thank you so much for everything you do for the programme!