Whilst racing results are easily quantifiable, less tangible but perhaps more important are other benefits of the programme. Some of these include:
- Study opportunities: all riders are funded and supported throughout their school careers, from high school through university. Many of our riders are on track to completing chemical engineering degrees, medical degrees, and vocational certificates.
- Work opportunities: some early members of the team gained access to employment through their time on the Development programme, being taken on as Spotters and Haul Truck Operators after being tested and trained through FQMO Mining and Sentinel Mine programmes. Another team member gained employment with one of our major sponsors as a blast hand.
- Personal mentoring: young people are closely guided and mentored, which develops skills far beyond cycling. The top riders have the opportunity to travel internationally, an experience which opens their minds to new thinking. All the cyclists learn to read, write, use email and MS Office, to organise events, to interact with people at all levels, and much more. As a result, their lives open up from a horizon of limited opportunities to one filled with possibility.
- Character growth and development: the programme has seen team members grow in ability and confidence, as they act as sporting ambassadors for FQM and Zambia. They learn to conduct themselves professionally in all settings, giving regular interviews for media, and traveling internationally for competitions.
Michael was recruited onto the team as a rider, after impressing our coaches with his self-starting attitude. After a couple years as a successful cyclist, his aptitude for mechanics became apparent. Now, he is a certified bike mechanic, and runs the team's bike shop. He still rides fast, as a hobby.