Stanbic Bank Celebrates Cycling & Community Development Through Gem Diamonds Kalahari MTB Challenge Event

Stanbic Bank Botswana’s commitment towards supporting sports development in Botswana grows stronger by the day. At the launch of the 2017 Gem Diamonds Kalahari MTB Challenge Event today, the Bank once again reaffirmed its commitment towards working with organisers to make the annual cycling platform a success. This builds upon the 2016 announcement of a three-year sponsorship commitment by Stanbic Bank Botswana, who serve as the Presenting Sponsor.

The 2017 edition of the challenge will take place from 9 to 11 June 2017. This is 3rd year the Bank has participated in the annual race, with a reputation for participation in this, one of many cycling initiatives the Bank is passionate about.

“We are thrilled to continue to support and grow our already strong relationship with the race organisers, once again sponsoring and even participating in the prestigious Challenge. This is not only a reflection of our appreciation for and development of sporting codes such as cycling, which have the power to champion greater wellness as well as bring communities together, but of our passion for long term and sustainable initiatives which seek to deliver impact beyond their immediate mandate,” said Stanbic Bank Botswana Chief Executive, Mr. Leina Gabaraane.

Pic by Boingotlo Seitshiro

The Gem Diamonds Kalahari MTB Challenge was nominated as a finalist for the “African Sponsorship of Year” by the Discovery Sport Industry Award 2016. The Gem Diamonds Kalahari MTB Challenge was nominated as one of the sixth finalists out of the twenty-one events selected throughout Africa.


The annual race, introduced in 2005, is one of the most sought after full-service mountain biking stage races in Southern Africa. Recent years saw the introduction of the “Community Support Programme.” This works towards seeing funds raised by the cycle challenge channelled towards developing communities along the cycle route. In 2015, for example, the handover of a P100,000 porta cabin and clinic by Stanbic Bank in Lekgolobotlo village was a direct outcome from this platform.

Said Mr. Seamus O’Neill, Race Director, “This marks the second year in a three year sponsorship agreement with Stanbic Bank, and yet it is by all means an even older relationship. Through support and even participation, our history with Stanbic Bank goes much further, and we are excited to keep growing this. We have a number of key supporters and sponsors on board who believe in and support our goal of making cycling a more prominent feature in our local sporting scene, and further leveraging this to grow our communities.”

This year’s race aims to welcome its greatest number of riders, in both full and light distance options for local and international participants. The 237km route will include 2,400m of climbing over the three days, while the Conquest route spanning 185km sees a climb of 1,300m. Participants may enter as follows: Juniors (Under 19); Open (19–29 years); Sub-Vets (30–39 years), Veterans (40–49 years); or Masters (50+ years). Cyclists may enter in the Mixed, Women, or Single categories.

Entries close on 5th May 2017. For more information, visit or email