Gaborone — Tsela Riders Cycling Club chairperson, Ediretse Ramahobo says in order to grow the sport of cycling, there is need to accelerate transformation to semi professionalism.
In an interview recently in preparation for their club race scheduled for Sunday, Ramahobo said cycling clubs needed to attract more companies and administrators better equipped to provide proper structures to assist in the day-to-day running of the sport and keeping clubs organised.
Proper governance structure is key in assuring stakeholders that things are being done properly and above board.
Cycling, like all other sport codes, was negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, adding that the easing of lockdown restrictions and opening of some sport activities such as the COVID-19 Sprint Series race which was a curtain raiser for cycling activities was a welcome development.
Ramahobo indicated that the success of COVID-19 Sprint Series showed that there was life for cycling during and post COVID-19 era.
He said the Tour de France race, which was in full swing currently, was also a clear indication that with the right guidelines and protocols in place, 'we can continue to enjoy our sport as we did before COVID-19."
Therefore, Ramahobo said clubs needed to respond to unprecedented circumstances with a clear well and thought out plan on how they would continue to manage the clubs' affairs in the new normal.
He noted that the lesson they could adopt was that of having contingency plans running alongside their normal plan for the year and also utilise online platforms as they had become a reality in the COVID-19 era.
Following the ease of lockdown restrictions and opening of some sport activities, Ramahobo said their club race came as a quest of growing the sport of cycling in Botswana as well as advocating for a healthy lifestyle through competitive and leisure cycling. With little activities due to COVID-19 lockdowns, Ramahobo expressed hope that the spirit of competition would be reignited amongst cyclists especially after the successful COVID-19 Sprint Series.
He said the executive committee and by extension the club with their experience to plan, execute and coordinate race events was prepared for their first activity post COVID-19, however he noted that the pandemic had introduced many obstacles. Following the COVID-19 Sprint Series race, Ramahobo indicated that his cyclists were also well prepared for their club race considering their performance in the Sprint Series.
He said a larger part of the preparations for the Sprint Series were done indoors with limited time on open roads and the riders performed satisfactorily under the circumstances; therefore their readiness for the club race was certain.
Tsela Club race is scheduled to take place on the Boatle/Mmankgodi route with race challenges every cyclist find delight in. The route provides fast straights, windy curves, hill climbs as well as beautiful scenery views.
"It is a good route to evaluate yourself as an athlete," stated Ramahobo, adding that they hoped to bring the route back to life as it used to host some exciting races in the country.
Source : BOPA