AFRICAN TRACK CYCLING CHAMPIONSHIPS: MASSARI ASSURES CONTINENT OF NIGERIA’S READINESS
….Egypt, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Others to Storm Abuja
… 100 cyclists expected to grace maiden edition
President, CYCLING FEDERATION OF NIGERIA (CFN), GIANDOMENICO MASSARI, has assured participants from various Countries across the continent of Africa of Nigeria’s readiness to host a successful AFRICAN TRACK CYCLING CHAMPIONSHIPS.
Speaking during a Press briefing in Abuja to promote the Maiden edition of the AFRICAN TRACK CYCLING CHAMPIONSHIPS which will be hosted in Abuja, Nigeria, MASSARI said about 100 cyclists from 10 Countries across Africa will be competing at the games, adding that notable World cycling champions will also be around to inspire young athletes.
According to him “This is the maiden edition of the Cycling Africa Cup in the continent and it is the first championship that Nigeria will be hosting since the Velodrome was built in 2003.
“No fewer than 100 participants would feature in the competition from ten countries namely; Guinea, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Republic of Benin, Burundi, Egypt, Morocco and Nigeria.
“There will be international coaches that will coordinate the activities during the games and also coaching courses for track and other aspects of the sports will be held,” he said.
Speaking further, the ITALIAN- BORN, Nigerian sports administrator stated there will be an exhibition contest between current and former Champions to inspire upcoming young athletes.
“Also there will be an exhibition contest involving present and former world champions of the games to inspire the youth for that task ahead. Former Italian cycling professionals like Mrs. Giorgia Bronzini, three-time United Cycling International (UCI) world champion, and Roberto Chiappa, two-time UCI world champion.
“Also, Andrea Tonti, former Italy national team member and other lieutenants of several UCI world champions will be around during the competition” He said.
While appealing to Corporate organizations to contribute to the development of the Sport of Cycling in Nigeria, MASSARI said his organisation is working towards making cycling the fastest growing sport in Nigeria.
“We want to make cycling one of the fastest growing sports in Nigeria and to boost athletes because we have the potential that can place Nigeria in the cycling world map.
“We want sponsors that believe in the sport to come and partner with the federation. The game of cycling is more than just sport. It has health benefits to human and also environmental friendly which can ease the congestion of road transportation” MASSARI concluded.
Also speaking at the Press briefing, Technical Director of the Nigeria Cycling Federation, MOHAMMMED BASHIR, said TEAM NIGERIA is working hard to do the nation proud at the championships.
In his words “Nigeria is ranked high in Africa and we want to go beyond the records. We have selected 21 athletes in the senior elite and the under-23 athletes both male and female that will be representing the nation at the championship in different categories”.
Meanwhile, General Secretary of the CYCLING FEDERATION OF NIGERIA (CFN) DAYO ABULUDE disclosed that most of the participants would be obtaining their VISAS on arrival as the NIGERIA IMMIGRATION SERVICE (NIS) has assured the Cycling Federation of their readiness to partner and offer excellent services to the various contingents arriving from across Africa.
According to ABULUDE the teams will be arriving a bit early to enable them participate in a PRE-TOURNAMENT TRAINING AND COMMISSAR COURSE (REFEREE COURSE) organized by the continental cycling body; CONFEDERATION OF AFRICA CYCLING (CAC).
As at Press time ,10 Countries have indicated their interest to participate in the THREE-DAY EVENT, with TEAM EGYPT expected to present the largest contingents of 17 athletes and officials.
Other countries include BURKINA FASO, GHANA, BENIN REPUBLIC, GUINEA, BURUNDI, MOROCCO, LIBERIA , COTE D’ IVOIRE and hosts NIGERIA.
The Maiden edition of the AFRICAN TRACK CYCLING CHAMPIONSHIPS is scheduled to run from July 26 to 28, 2019 at the VELODROME of the MOSHOOD ABIOLA NATIONAL STADIUM in Abuja.
The leadership of CONFEDERATION OF AFRICA CYCLING (CAC), led by its President, MOHAMED AZZAM, is expected to be in Abuja for the events.