This month, South Africa is hosting the prestigious FIM AFRICA Motocross of African Nations (MXOAN) at Zone 7 Speedspot in Cape Town from 11th – 13th August.
Not only have thirty-six (36) of the finest Motocross riders in South Africa been selected to compete at this year’s event against the best riders from countries across Africa, but for the first time in history the SA team has a female Team Captain in Kayla Raaff and a female team manager, Monja Conradie.
“What better way to celebrate Women’s Month this August than with such a strong Women’s contingent in this exciting team event,” says Adrian Scholtz, Chief Executive Officer of Motorsport South Africa.
The event will see no fewer than eight (8) African countries compete in the MX 50, MX 65, MX Lites, MX 125, MX 1, MX 2, Vets and Masters’ classes, as well as the WMX class for ladies. Scholtz says South Africa’s finest will be challenged this year to retain their place as they took the leading country award in 2022 in Uganda by just one point and even fiercer competition is expected at this year’s event.
The event, hosted by Motorsport South Africa in 2023, will be the highlight of the FIM AFRICA year with more than 200 entries expected and hopefully a good turnout of spectators and visitors to the Mother City to witness all the thrills and spills of continental motocross.
The South African team manager will be Monja Conradie. Monja comments, “I’m honoured and excited to have been selected as the team manager. I have such a passion for the sport and I am fully committed to supporting our talented riders. With dedication and teamwork, we will make South Africa proud.”
She says it is particularly exciting to see so many ladies excelling. “While this sport has long been dominated by men in South Africa, today, we celebrate the fearless and talented South African woman riders who are making their mark in MXOAN, bringing inspiration and passion to the track.”
And here are the five phenomenal women riders redefining the motocross landscape in South Africa
Team Captain: Kayla Raaff
Kayla is a force to be reckoned with on the motocross track. She started riding when she was 5 years old, competing with the boys. In 2018 at just 15 years old, she won her first South African National Woman’s Championship and was the youngest lady rider ever to achieve this accolade. From 2019 – 2022 she consistently won championships. She has already received her Junior South African National Colours and now has her eye on Senior South African National Colours. Kayla is known for her fearlessness, agility, and exceptional control of the bike, consistently giving her fellow competitors a run for their money.
Dakota started riding at the age of 11 and raced her first race in 2017. She is competing in the South Africa Woman’s National Championship this year and is very excited to represent her country in the MXOAN. She is definitely a rising star. Her passion for motocross goes beyond racing. She wants to become an inspiration for aspiring female riders in South Africa and has started a ladies training programme and launched a series of events for ladies throughout the year.
Zoe’s bike racing journey started in 2020 after the lockdown. She always loved bikes and played with her dad’s bikes in the garage from a young age. In 2021, she started racing and steadily improved her race times. Zoe’s dedication led her to compete in regionals and nationals, where she achieved a notable second place in a race in Polokwane. Her dream is to become a national champion in bike racing. Zoe cherishes the friendships and camaraderie of her racing team, who have become like family to her. With passion and support, she is determined to reach her goals.
Cheyenne and Jadene de Lima
These are two highly talented motocross sisters. Jadene started riding at the age of eight and started racing on a National level at age 12, competing against the boys in the 85cc class and managed to finish top 10. In 2018 she was awarded junior South African Colours. She is a determined young lady and her goal is to line up at Mini O’s in the USA. A true inspiration to other female riders and definitely a lady to keep your eye on!
Cheyenne’s career started at the age of eight as well. She has competed in the MXOAN representing her country twice – once in Zimbabwe and once in Uganda . “She will represent her country for the third time, and I am very excited to see what she will achieve,” notes Monja. Cheyenne rode internationally and competed against some of the best in the world. She has raced in USA at Mini O’s and Spring Nationals. Her dream is to successfully qualify for the AMA Loretta Lynn, the biggest racing event in the world and she wants to be the first South African female to do so.
Motocross is a sport that combines adrenalin and determination, pushing riders to their limits. You can come and experience the excitement of this thrilling sport on the 12th and 13th August where countries across Africa will compete.
“Come and see what the MXOAN is all about! I guarantee it will offer a combination of thrilling sport action, cultural experience, scenic beauty and it will give you a change to support the local community. Zone 7, in my opinion, is one of the best tracks in South Africa and their facilities cater for everyone! It will be a compelling and worthwhile experience for all ! Come and see why I fell in love with the sport!”
Team Captain, Kayla Raaff is confident they have a very strong team again and is quietly hoping for another South African win. “In all aspects and across all categories South Africa is particularly strong this year,” she says and says to be representing and competing for South Africa again is overwhelming and an absolute honour. She says since the event is in Cape Town this year she would also love to see as much support as possible from fans, whether in person at the event or online. “The support of our fans is hugely important and we want to extend our biggest thanks to everyone who has, and continues to support us.”
That sentiment is echoed by Monja. “These phenomenal women riders are inspiring a new generation of enthusiasts and proving just how far passion and skill can take you. I really applaud their determination and celebrate their achievements,” she says.
“MSA would like to wish the team the best of luck and also extend our sincerest appreciation to the event title sponsor, Bar Cargo, as well as the various trackside sponsors, for their contribution to the success of this event. International events like this rely so heavily on sponsorship and the much-appreciated support of the sponsors of this event provides us with a platform for hosting and showcasing our country and sport to the rest of Africa and the world,” says Scholtz.
It is going to be a spectacular weekend so anyone interested in attending the event to support the teams should make their way to Zone 7 at around 08h30 on Saturday and/or Sunday and be prepared for an action packed day.
For more information you can visit our playbook. Tickets are available on Quicket R100 per day for adults, R50 for children over 7 and free for kids under 7.
Compiled on behalf of MSA by Cathy Findley PR