The fourth edition of the road cycling activity entitled 'Pédaler en sécurité' organised by the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Recreation, the Mauritius Sports Council, the National Youth Council, and the High Commission of India, kickstarted, today, from Octave Wiehé Stadium, University of Mauritius, in Réduit to MGI, Moka.
The Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, the Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Recreation, Mr Stephan Toussaint, and the Indian High Commissioner in Mauritius, Mrs Nandini Singla, were present.
Some 70 participants, including 20 from the Indian High Commission, and 50 registered cyclists as well as officials participated. The objectives of the activity are to encourage members of the public to practice cycling on a regular basis as a leisure activity and physical fitness; promote cycling as an environmentally sound, affordable and healthy form of transportation; raise awareness on the precautions that should be taken while being engaged in bicycle riding; and sensitise the public on road safety.
In a statement, Minister Toussaint underlined that the road cycling activity will be extended in several regions of the country with the objective of making the presence of cyclists on Mauritian roads accepted. He stated that cyclists are more vulnerable and prone to accidents, hence the need to sensitise road users that roads must accommodate pedestrians, cyclists, drivers, and the metro while highlighting that necessary precautions must be taken as regards road safety.
He further dwelt on the advantages of cycling and recalled that it combines physical exercise with being outdoors and exploring new views. Cycling is healthy, fun, and a low-impact form of exercise for all ages, he emphasised.
Mr Toussaint also highlighted that his Ministry and the Indian High Commission are collaborating on several projects, one among which is to send a group of youngsters next year to India in January to participate in its Republic Day.
The Indian High Commissioner, Mrs Singla, underlined that the project involving youngsters to participate in the National Cadet Corps Republic Day Camp is very close to her heart. She recalled that the selection process has already started which comprised a competitive test notably a quiz of India to promote knowledge about the country's culture and heritage, geography, politics, achievements and famous personalities.
She stated that today's event is very important as it is celebrating fitness in a safe way, celebrating the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, and 75 years of India's independence. She indicated that 2023 will mark the 75th year of bilateral relations between Mauritius and India.
The itinerary of the road cycling activity, which spread across 13 kms, was as follows: Octave Wiehé Stadium-Telfair Roundabout-Moka Eye Hospital-Bois Chéri Road- Roselyn Cottage- St Pierre Church- Kendra Shopping Mall-main road to Helvetia-MGI Moka. The event culminated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the bust of Mahatma Gandhi in the premises of MGI Moka.
On this occasion, three winners who registered themselves for the cycling activity, won bicycles and helmets each which were offered by the Indian High Commission. The winners were chosen through a lucky draw.
This cycling activity was previously organised at Curepipe for its first edition, Port Louis (second edition), and Quartier Militaire (third edition).