Collin Matiza Sports Editor
AFTER having spent the past two years racing in the 65cc Class, young Tadiwanashe Nyamupfukudza will continue with her quest of becoming one of the country’s top female motocross riders by graduating to race in the more demanding 85cc Class next season.
Touted as the next best thing after Tanya Muzinda in the local motocross circles, 11-year-old Nyamupfukudza has been slowly rising up the ladder while racing with boys at the famous Donnybrook Raceway track in Harare.
Only two weeks ago, Nyamupfukudza competed in a Bogwheelers Club’s National Championship series race meeting at Donnybrook where she competed with boys in the 65cc Class which had a good field of 13 riders and she did well to finish ninth overall after three tough heats. And her father and trainer, Simbarashe, recently told The Herald that since his daughter will be turning 12 next year, she will move a class up into the 85cc (small wheel) Class as he prepares her “for bigger and greater things” in the male-dominated tough world of motocross racing.
“Taddy started riding bikes at the age of seven and as I was working for a local motorcycle company (TT Motorcycles), whose owners are also into motocross, I decided to introduce her to the sport because I wanted her to follow the footsteps of Tanya Muzinda.
“But what surprised me the most is that she was so keen and enthusiastic to take up motocross and I didn’t find it difficult to introduce her to the sport; and she is now a regular feature at Donnybrook where she has been racing with boys in the 65cc Class for the past two years.
“But as from next year, she will move a class up into the 85cc Class, that is small wheel, because she will be turning 12, which allows her to compete in this class, and I will be monitoring her progress as my main aim is to turn her into her fully-fledged professional racer,” Simba Nyamupfukudza said.
And Tadiwanashe, who is popularly known as Taddy among her motocross peers at Donnybrook, added: “… Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always shown interest in motorbikes. My father was employed by a motorcycle company so motorbikes have been a part of my life.
“At the age of 7, I could ride and noting my passion, my father committed to helping me achieve my dreams. I’m not afraid of the big toys! Since then, my interest in motocross has grown big to the extent that I am participating in local race meetings at a young age.
“I believe that I have the potential to be a sensation in the motorsport arena of Zimbabwe and Africa at large. I want to be an inspiring figure with a strong ambition to change the world and encourage all the girls out there that nothing is impossible.
“In Zimbabwe, motorsport bikes and equipment are very expensive and very few can afford the equipment, but my father works so hard to make sure that I excel academically and that my dream to be the world number one in motocross comes true.
“I look up to Tanya Muzinda and Leigh-Ann Young. They motivate me in so many ways. They have great talent and I hope that one day I can be just like them. I take Tanya Muzinda as a big sister that I never had. She has accomplished big things at a very young age.”
Plans are already in place for Taddy Nyamupfukudza to go for a month-long training camp with one of Germany’s top motocross clubs in April next year, courtesy of Hamburg-based GeBe Sports and Education Foundation.
The GeBe Foundation is owned by former German football international Bernd Wulffen who confirmed yesterday that he would like Tadiwanashe Nyamupfukudza to hone her motocross-riding skills in the European country in April next year.
“Tadiwanashe’s profile looks pretty good. I will soon be contacting a number of German motocross clubs I used to work with and see whether they can accommodate her in April and then in August next year.
I think we should work to build up and establish some good relationships with the German motorsport clubs so that we can do these projects every year in April and August/September,” Wulffen said from his base in Hamburg, Germany, yesterday. But before Tadiwanashe Nyamupfukudza gets a chance to practice with some of Germany’s top motocross clubs next year, she first has to prepare for next month’s season-ending Zimbabwe Summer Series.
This year’s Zimbabwe Summer Series has been slated for December 12, 14 and 16 and it will once again consist of two Supercross events during the opening two days and one full day of motocross action on the last day.
This annual event usually attracts top junior and senior male and female riders from overseas as well as those from neighbouring countries such as Botswana, South Africa and Zambia.
And young Taddy Nyamupfukudza is once again relishing the opportunity of taking on some of these riders during this three-day motorcycling fiesta at Donnybrook on December 12, 14 and 16.