As preparation intensify for the maiden Africa Track Cycling Championship also known as Africa Cup billed for the state of the art Velodrome Complex, Abuja, the nation’s capital will as from Monday play host to over 100 cyclists, 20 coaches and 25 cycling commissars ( referees) from Nigeria, Ghana and Benin Republic during a two-week long intensive training/ selection process organised by the Nigeria Cycling Federation (CFN)
The Maiden Africa Cup has been fixed between July 26 and 28, 2019.
President of the federation, Engr. Giadomenico Massari, who disclosed this at the weekend, said the training/selection camp had become necessary given that track Cycling is relatively new for countries in the subregion.
He said the training/selection programme would also serve as preparation for other engagement of the federation, including the World Junior Track Championship ( Junior male/Female), the elite version of the championship and the All Africa Games (Track) .
He said Ghana and Benin Republic have accepted invitation to participate in programme out of all West African Countries invited.
“It is a massive three- 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 support in meeting some of the requirement for certification of the velodrome ahead of the Africa Cup which is barely two months away.
He said the requirement for provision of inside perimeter fence in the velodrome has not been met, even though the sports ministry had continued to give assurances.
“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 said.