HARARE – When you have a father as committed as Mike Mawarire thriving in a sport where family support plays an integral role becomes an attainable goal.
That is why it is no surprise siblings Tafadzwa, 17, Mike Jnr, 14, and Tyler, 10, are some of the best motocross riders on the local scene.
Ever rising Tafadzwa is perhaps the most accomplished of the three having represented Zimbabwe in multiple motocross events.
In 2012 the 17-year-old was the toast of the 85cc class and capped off a brilliant year by winning the 85cc at the FIM Africa Motocross Championship staged at the Uganda Motorsports Arena in Kampala.
At that African Championship, Tafadzwa rode in stellar fashion to defeat his countryman Wade Ashwell who came second and Uganda’s Fatuh Kiggundu who came third.
Now the Zimbabwe 125 cc Club Champion and national champion is hoping for a podium finish in the Summer Series when he takes to the track on his KTM 125 at Donnybrook this weekend.
Zvishavane High School pupil Mike Jnr on a Honda CRF 150 and Shabanie Mine Primary School student Tyler riding a YZ85 Yamaha are also fancying their chances in the 85 cc and 85 cc B class respectively to close off a pretty decent season.
Mike Snr rarely misses any national or international championship where his kids are involved in.
“I was talking to (Big) Chitima (vice-chairman of the Bogwheelers Club who run motocross in Zimbabwe) I was telling him that ‘we have come a long way,” Mike Snr tells the Daily News.
“I’m a former rider myself having taken up the sport just after independence. I used to play rugby but I also love motorsport. So because of me my children ended up taking the sport seriously.”
Mike Snr has so far spent close to $100 000 in equipping his three kids’ motocross needs from acquiring bikes, repairs and maintenance to travelling costs.
But he says no amount of money can substitute his kids’ happiness.
“It’s an expensive sport but you need to say if the opportunity is there let them go for it,” Mike Snr says.
“The biggest hurdle in the sport is sponsorship but there are one two companies willing to help out.”
The Mawarire family has become some of the idols of the Zvishavane sporting community after taking their talents to national level and beyond.
The mining town is mainly known for its crazy love for football but the emergence of the Mawarire brothers has helped change perceptions and many kids have taken a liking to motocross.
Mike Snr has also had a hand in the transformation of the sport in Zvishavane after constructing motocross off road circuit in 2008, just a walking distance from the town.
The track named Zvishavane Motocross Park has a standard lap of 1400 kilometres and a kidney shaped flat track inside.
Mike Snr hopes the track will continue giving Zvishavane kids a platform to express their talent and ultimately grow the sport in the country.
Zimbabwe Motorsport spokesman Themba Mazvimbakupa said if they were more people like Mike Snr the sport would grow in limps and bounds amongst the black community.
“In fact Mawarire has inspired other black guys to come in. Mike Mawarire was one of the pioneers who said look we can also do it, all it just needs is commitment.”