Defending champion Josh van Wyk (left) crosses the finish line to win the 25 Mile at the 122nd edition of the Paarl Boxing Day Track Challenge at the Faure Street Stadium in Paarl. Graeme Ockhuis (second from right) finished second with Belgian Jonas Rickaert behind him in third. 
Picture by Laurel Andrews

The Paarl Boxing Day Track Challenge, which is scheduled for 26 December 2021, will go ahead, either with or without a spectator presence.

Hein Kroff, spokesperson for the Paarl Amateur Athletic and Cycling Club, said today the club has made the decision to continue with the staging of the prestigious event this year. 

“If spectators aren’t allowed, the event will be presented with only officials and riders present inside the Faure Street Stadium in Paarl. The event will be live streamed to ensure exposure for riders and sponsors.”

Kroff says the club was devastated having to call off the 2020 edition of the event due to Covid regulations. It was the first time in the 123-year history of the event that it couldn’t take place. 

“We are committed to the 2021 presentation, which will only be called off should a complete ban on gatherings be in force as is the case now under Level 4 restrictions.

“If we are on Level 3, the presentation will be possible without spectators, and on Level 1 a limited number of spectators will be allowed. We are holding thumbs that South Africa’s vaccination rollout will have reached the point where spectators can be accommodated in December and that we can host the event in front of our passionate crowd,” said Kroff.

“If spectators aren’t allowed, we will reduce the prize purse, which is unavoidable due to budget constraints. Our main priority is to ensure the presentation and do justice to the event’s heritage. 

“Boxing Day presents us with an annual opportunity to make a positive contribution to the mindset of the people of Paarl. It is part of their heritage and we are very sensitive to this,” said Kroff.

  • Entries for the 123rd edition of the Paarl Boxing Day Track Challenge are now open with an early bird discounted offer until 9 July. Riders can request an entry form from devillierscycling@mweb.co.za
  • Follow the race on Facebook @paarlboxingday