Team BEN Namibia was a bicycle racing team comprised of some of Namibia’s top young cyclists. As well as serving as a platform for their cycling careers, team members raised HIV/AIDS awareness, advocated prevention, encouraged voluntary HIV/AIDS counselling and testing, and promoted healthy life style choices. “Know your HIV Status. Get fit, be focused. Do sports, not drugs” were the messages the team conveyed.
The team made live appearances across the country as part of the ‘Spin for Life’ tour, featuring team members on trainers and exercise bikes, screenings of bicycle racing DVDs, and distribution of HIV/ AIDS information. They also launched incentive programmes for HIV testing, with bicycles offered as ‘lucky dip’ prizes at testing centres. A pilot project saw testing increase at one village clinic from an average of 49 people per month to 330 the month that a bicycle was offered as an incentive. Although Team BEN Namibia is no longer active, many of its riders have gone on to race in South Africa, while others ride with Physically Active Youth (PAY), an initiative that BEN Namibia continues to support.