Meet Caroline Matsimela, Opening New Doors For Women’s Cycling

by | Feb 8, 2024 | Profile

It’s a great time to be a woman in sport. As doors to sponsorships open up and more representation envelopes the space, we’re able to do more and push on. One woman contributing to growing the sport is Caroline Matsimela. She helps women pursue their cycling dreams through her initiative, the Matsimela Ladies Clinic. Here’s what keeps her going as she gears up for the Absa Cape Epic, taking place from the 17th to the 24th of March 2024.

The Matsimela Ladies Clinic

“In 3 years, we have successfully managed to get 115 women into the sports that have completed our graduate program since launching in Aug 2020,” says Caroline. It’s no mean feat, either: Caroline Matsimela is a Human Resource specialist by profession and runs the Clinic while juggling work, kids and family.

Even so, the Clinic is successful, with over 11 women participating at Ride Joburg for mountain biking in 2023 and 82 women in road in 2023, Caroline notes. It’s an impressive number, as we see mountain biking growing for women. According to statistics, women currently make up around between 20-25% of the South African mountain bike. That’s an approximate growth of 4% since 2018.

Caroline is also a mentor for Absa’s #SheUntamed initiative, which launched in 2020 in order to make the sport accessible to women. Through this initiative, the bank aims to shift the face of cycling by entrenching its purpose of bringing possibility to life. “Today, I am a proud #SheUntamed ambassador and mentor to the 20 all-female teams who will be at the start line at Lourensford on the 17th of March 2024,” she says.

caroline matsimela on her bike with two other female cyclists
Caroline Matsimela with other female cyclists

READ MORE: How Cyclist Candice Lill Is Approaching The Absa Cape Epic

Going for goals

When it comes to maintaining her fitness while achieving those race day goals, Caroline stays consistent and makes cycling an active priority. “For me, consistency is key! I have learned that sometimes time becomes a challenge to juggle work, family, training and kids. However, every little bit counts, even if it’s 30 minutes, it does make a difference because #ForwardIsForward,” Caroline notes.

READ MORE: 9 Great Sports To Try In 2024

Fuelling up

Ready-made fuel is always at hand for Caroline in the form of a banana. She chows on one before an easy Zone 2 ride. For longer distances, Caroline opts for PreRace meal from 32GI with yoghurt. Or, a slice of toast with peanut butter does the trick.

READ MORE: How Anneke Spies Is Pushing Women’s Weightlifting Forward

Cross training = winning

When she’s not hitting the road, Caroline enjoys being one with the water. Water sports targets muscles that don’t often get attention on the bike. “I am really enjoying my aqua sessions,” she says. “They are not only therapeutic but good strength training. The resistance of the water means that opposing muscle groups are working in each movement as I push and pull against it.”

If you’re in Joburg, join Caroline at the Matsimela Ladies Clinic. Or gear up for the Absa Cape Epic, taking place from the 17th – 24th March 2024.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This