Image Credit: YouTube
“At a time when we can’t move, we are still moved”
NTT Pro Cycling, Africa’s first ever Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) World Tour team, has initiated ‘Be Moved’: a call to action to open our hearts to the humanity around us, as the world is currently paralyzed by the prolific impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
‘Be Moved’ emerged from a range of extensive team-wide discussions as to what the current global crisis means, not only to cycling teams but as it reaches further into the riders’ personal lives and communities across the world.
This concept was created together with NTT’s partners at the T+W Content Creation Agency, world leaders in the art of storytelling.
“The impact that this team has on the lives of thousands of kids across the African continent moves me,” said Gareth Whittaker, CEO of T+W. “I love that while we’re all sitting at home, we are still able to be moved. Working with Doug and his team to help tell the story of NTT Pro Cycling is a great privilege. This short story does a goose bumps job of telling that story, virtual hugs to all.”
NTT Pro Cycling said in a statement:
The Coronavirus has restricted movement dramatically and it is in this context that the greater purpose of our team and our partnership with the Qhubeka Charity is highlighted. Qhubeka means “to move forward” and their quest to distribute bicycles to communities in need across the African continent is even more relevant to mobilise healthcare workers and those in need of transport at this time.
Since the escalation of global measures to contain the virus has seen team members confined to their homes, our team has been hard at work ensuring that we are better connected. This includes regular engagements with our partners to share knowledge and expertise across a variety of contexts.”
NTT Pro Cycling’s Quick Comeup
NTT Pro Cycling is Africa’s first ever Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) World Tour team and started its first season in cycling’s top ranks in 2016. It was just four years prior, in 2012, that an African registered cycling team was given a Pro Continental racing license for the first time.
Three successful years in the Pro Continental ranks preceded the last three years at World Tour and ever since, the team has been building towards become one of the elite power squads of world cycling.
The goal of producing the first African world champion is still very much at the heart of the team’s plans and this is evident in its clear focus on developing African talent, starting with the continental feeder team.
As Africa continues to become a force in the cycling game, NTT’s vision has expanded, as it no longer looks to compete for respect. Expectations have elevated and the goal is to place an African rider on the elite podium of the Tour de France by 2020.
Africa’s most talented riders will wear NTT Pro Cycling colors in 2020, with two time Tour de France top 10 finisher, Louis Meintjes spearheading them. Ryan Gibbons, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, and Stefan de Bod are the future of African cycling race and we will look forward to further developing their careers.
The Olympics are a real possibility thanks to a cycling revolution that has exploded in African nations devastated by volcanoes and decades of permanent civil war.
Building A Global Power, Family Philosophy
Together with African stalwart riders like Jay Thomson and Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, the team is the true home of African cycling. Well known riders like Mexico’s Victor Campenearts, Norweigen great Edvald Basson Hagen, and Italian cyclist Giacomo Nizzolo add depth to our race winning potential and will also help to further globalize the Qhubeka initiative.
The team’s three pillars of focus being family, purpose and opportunity is portrayed in ‘Be Moved’. It is not merely a hashtag, but reflects on what the cyclists believe to be their true meaning and purpose is in this changing world.
“Be Moved speaks to the essence of what this team is about. At NTT Pro Cycling and with our partners we move to move others, we race to win and to mobilize people in Africa,” said Douglas Ryder, Team Principal of NTT Pro Cycling. “This is our purpose, it inspires us and gets us up in the morning and is what moves us forward each day. It unites us, makes our hearts beat to a different pulse… as can be heard in the riders and staff who contributed to the voiceover in this video. We may be physically alone but this connects us. Be Moved.“