Ahead of the inaugural Africa Track Cycling Championship (Africa Cup) slated to hold at the Velodrome Complex of the National Stadium, Abuja, the capital city will today play host to over 100 cyclists, 20 coaches and 25 cycling commissars (referees) from Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic for a two-week intensive training/selection process organized by the Nigeria Cycling Federation (CFN).
The maiden Africa Cup has been fixed to hold from July 26 to 28, 2019.
Disclosing this to newsmen over the weekend, president of Cycling Federation of Nigeria (CFN), Engr. Giadomenico Massari, said the training/selection camp has become necessary given that track cycling is relatively new to countries in the sub-region.
He said the training/selection programme will also serve as preparation for other engagement of the federation, including the World Junior Track Championship (Male/Female), the elite version of the championship and the All Africa Games (Track).
Already, he said that Ghana and Benin Republic have accepted invitation to participate in the programme out of all West African Countries invited.
“It is a massive 3- level event wholly sponsored by the federation. We are providing accommodation, feeding and local transportation for participants. We are also drawing from our own local resource in terms of technical support. Dr. Emmanuel Igbinosa who recently bagged his certificate as UCI certified Instructor/Commissar (Track/Road Cycling) will be on hand to train the commissars while Coach Bashiru Mohammed will handle the coaches.
He will be assisted by senior coaches in the selection which will be done by elimination”, said Chief Massari.
The CFN President however lamented lack of government’s support in meeting some of the requirement for certification of the velodrome ahead of the Africa Cup which is barely 2 months away.
For instance, he said the requirement for provision of inside perimeter fence in the Velodrome has not been done, even though the sports ministry continues to give assurance.
“Another challenge we have is equipment. Presently we do not have track cycles and this is very important. We have continued to improvise, using what we have but that only slows the pace for us. We have had promises from European/ UCI to support the center with 25 track cycles but it has not materialised. We need track cycles urgently to get our athletes ready for these coming events,” he appealed.
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