Fantastic news for residents and tourists in Ronda, our fair city will soon have 70 rental bicycles available at four convenient points around the city to make Ronda cycling a reality.
Ronda joins the University of Málaga, Málaga city, Antequera, and also soon Velez-Málaga as being the only areas in Málaga province with bikes for hire. Programs such as these are already very successful in London, Paris, Sevilla and other major cities, and given the great enthusiasm towards cycling in Ronda, it seems fitting that Ronda should also have bicycles for hire.
Conceived by the Andalucían Energy Agency, a department of the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Enterprise in association with the Ronda’s Delegation for Innovation, the scheme will cost 110,000€ and will see bike pickup points distributed around four locations in Ronda.
Initial expectations are that points will be located near Plaza de Espana, the railway station or above the carpark on Avenida Martinez Astein, at the end of Avenida de Málaga, and possibly in the Barrio de San Francisco.
Pilar Serrano, head of the Andalucían Energy Agency told Ronda Today the program is innovative and will see emissions improvements of 103 tonnes of CO2 not released into the atmosphere, equivalent to 39 cars less on Ronda’s roads annually.
A dedicated support technician will be employed by the city council to maintain the bicycles, although at this point it is not known if any of Ronda’s three existing bicycle shops will be able to contract for their maintenance.
A young Rondeño, David del Rio has been selected to represent Spain in the under 16 team. David’s first competition games will be at the Winter Cup in Udine, Italy. He joins two other contemporaries from the National Junior team Carlos Bautista and Nacho Gonzalez in the under 16 grade as they compete to reach the Winter Cup finals in Ronchin France, to be held from the 19th to 21st February 2010.
Ronda’s Tortuga Rugby Team have added a new project to their burgeoning club, offering social rugby games to people with intellectual disabilities as part of their ongoing rehabilitation. The association with Asprodisis was announced today after the success of the first game played between Asprodisis patients and members of the Ronda Tortugas third division team.
The first game was described by club president Hans Leuenberger as “an adventure” as players adjusted to making contact with the Asprodisis players. Initial hesitancy soon gave way to spirited playing as simple rules of the game were developed.
Players from the Asprodisis squad took to running with the ball with gusto, with everyone enjoying some good rugby, albeit at a very basic level. Ronda Tortugas are the first competitive team in the Andalusian league to partner with a mentall handicapped association, and weekly games have now been integrated into the therapeutic activities of Asprodisis.
The Ronda Tortugas Rugby team play in the third division Andalusian Rugby league, and have three junior training days, two in Ronda, and one in Arriate for children aged 4-11. It is hoped a full club with multiple teams can be developed in Ronda, whilst senior players hope that Ronda will be promoted to the second league in the next 2-3 years.
La Asociación Protectora de Personas con Discapacidad Intelectual de Ronda y la Comarca (Asprodisis) is the largest caregiver for intellectually handicapped people in the Serranía de Ronda, offering residential facilities, employment opportunities, as well as rehabilitation services to people of all ages and conditions.
The 28th November 2009 was an exciting day for the under thirteen Union Deportivo Ronda football team as they were treated to a visit by Bjorn Heidenstrom, former Norwegian International and first division football player who is cycling from Norway to South Africa collecting signed football shirts, and raising awareness for the world’s 45 million refugees.
Bjorn has been cycling for six months already, and arrived in Ronda at 10am after a grueling cycle up the San Pedro highway from Marbella. He certainly lived up the nickname “Crazy Norwegian”. His day in Ronda is part of an extended trip that sees him cycle to Córdoba, then Madrid, and Barcelona before catching a ferry to Italy, the Balkan nations, Greece, Turkey, and Syria.
A decision then needs to be made on the route Bjorn will take cycling to Egypt before cyclng to Cape Town via Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, and the Southern African countries. Bjorn is hoping to be in Johannesburg in May. Then he and some volunteers will stitch all of the shirts collected together into a single large flag that FIFA and the South African Football Association have agreed will be flown at the opening game of the Soccer World Cup in June 2010.
Football shirts collected from CD Ronda and UD Ronda will be amongst the other many hundreds of signed football shirts, including those from FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, FC Valencia, Manchester United, Liverpool FC, Dynamo Moscow, and many more top teams yet to be visited.
Refugees are one of the world’s greatest tragedies, and are a group of people with the least ability to represent themselves, with the overwhelming majority forced into camps for displaced people, or taken into care by charitable groups. Refugees don’t have the ability to work to make a living, they aren’t able to provide for their families, and they exist in a sort of half legal half outcast situation.
Ronda Today is proud to be one of the many supporters and sponsors of Bjorn Heidenstrom as he cycles from Norway to South Africa to give the world’s many refugees a voice. His approach is proving successful, over 50 million people have watched Bjorn’s travels on television or in his YouTube channel, and sponsors are lining up to offer funds to the Refugee Council and UNHCR.
With Bjorn’s enthusiasm and our support we can make a difference, and we can put the plight of refugees firmly where it belongs, in the news and in front of prime ministers and presidents of the world’s family of nations.
Bjorn would like to thank Carlos Mirasol García, councillor for sport for his active encouragement and allowing Bjorn to meet the future football stars of Ronda, Hotel Ronda for providing Bjorn with a room and hot shower for the night, Bar La Bola on Carrera Espinel for graciously providing Bjorn with lunch, Restaurant El Predicatorio for graciously providing Bjorn with breakfast. Charlotte Wilmot and Alonso Jiménez González were invaluable friends who worked tirelessly to ensure Bjorn’s trip to Ronda was a success. Thank you all.
So, what happens now? Bjorn is on his way, and the plight of refugees could be forgotten now that we’ve had our fun. But Ronda Today cannot let this happen. We’ll be following Bjorn’s travels as he makes his way to South Africa, and we’ll be helping to organise workshops and fund raising activities to let Bjorn and the Refugee Council know that Rondeños want to help make a difference. Please join us. Send us an email (email@example.com) and tell us if you can help Bjorn collect signed football shirts, or if you’d like write Bjorn a message of support.
We’re not asking for money, we’ll find sponsors for that, what we are asking for is your good wishes. You can read about Bjorn’s travels directly on his website, theshirt2010.net, or follow him on Twitter, @heidenstrom.
Here’s a selection of photos taken of Bjorn in Ronda.
Ronda Tortugas Rugby Club are a new addition to the sporting fraternity in Ronda, and what a start they’re making. This weekend they took on an invitational side from Yatton RC, a league club in England, and what a game it was. At full time the score stood 46-10 to the Tortugas, a fantastic effort for a young 3rd division team.