The Botswana Cycling Association (BCA) is hopeful for bigger and greater things this year, following a year that wasn’t so bad in regard to events they held.
Media Liaison Officer, Peter Sekwale, told The Sunday Standard that though they had a very productive 2009, they are looking forward to a much greater 2010.
“We are hoping that we will be able to have our development cycling team enter more events in South Africa during 2010,” he said. “We are looking forward to a bigger and better Subaru Kalahari Challenge event this year, and we are hoping to increase participation to 150 teams. This will be a very big logistical challenge as a small club to achieve. However, the Botswana Tourism Board has agreed to help us to promote the race, and we have a dynamic event management team in place,” he said.
Sekwale further said they are also looking to develop the Nissan Adventure Triathlon Race into an international event, and will be advertising the event in Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa. He also noted that their measurable achievement, which will take them a milestone, is having been affiliated to the Botswana National Sports Council.
“The Botswana Cycling Association was recently affiliated to the BNSC and is now the 34th affiliate association, and we believe that we can expect cycling to continue to flourish under the BCA guidance,” Sekwale said.
He added that they also have a membership of 160 paid up members. He explained that some of their notable challenges are maintaining┬átheir Development Team, their bicycles and equipment.
“The people are mainly from schools and/or disadvantaged backgrounds, and we continually need to find the finance to keep them in the sport”, he said, adding that they also have a problem looking for more local talent which they can sponsor.
“One of our challenges is looking to find more local talent, which we can look to sponsor, to enable these development riders to encourage others to join the sport,” he said.
Besides the challenges BCA faces, Sekwale asserted that they have successfully managed to host the two day Subaru Kalahari Challenge event with 100 teams participating from four different countries.
“Botswana Riders represented the Club and took part in the Trans Alps MTB race in Europe, Cape Epic 8 day MTB event, the 6 day Cape Pioneer MTB event and the 4 day Sabie Experience event, as well as Cape Argus cycle race, and the Pickford Double Century race,” he said. He went on to say that, locally, the Club held the Wharic Challenge road race, Gaborone Garage Kopong Road and MTB race, Pick n Pay Botswana Mokolodi Scorpion MTB race and the Nissan Challenge Adventure race as well as assisting the Gaborone City Council with their Safe cycling campaign for kids which was sponsored by UNDP.
“Like many other sporting codes, we are continually looking for sponsors for our events, and while we have been very lucky with our major sponsors, these companies themselves have cost constraints,” added Sekwale. He explained that to overcome some of their challenges, they have a committee delegated to dealing with all the development of local talent, and are looking for additional sponsorship to assist with the increased costs of meeting their goals.
“There is also an ongoing campaign to ask members to donate sports gear and bikes, for the development riders,” he said. We will also be assisting Phakalane Golf Estate with marshals in the upcoming International marathon event to be held in Gaborone soon.”