The International Cycling Union says it would established cycling training center in Nigeria for the development of the sport in the country.
Mohammed Wazzam, vice president of UCI said this at the on-going African Track Cycling Championship in Abuja.
Wazzam, also the president of Confederation of Africa Cycling (CAC), said that Nigeria was one of the biggest cycling countries in Africa, hence the need for the establishment of UCI training centres.
He said the president of Cycling Federation of Nigeria (CFN), Giandomenico Massari, was doing a good job for the development of cycling in Nigeria.
“I would like to thank the government of Nigeria, especially the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, for his support for cycling in Nigeria.
“Track cycling is one of the Olympic Games and we need to hold Africa championships to get our athletes qualify for the Games.
“The CAC Track African championship is a superb opportunity for talented athletes from different countries to compete and share their experience,” he said
“We started in year 2005 with 16 national federations but now we have 54 national federations.
We discussed with the UCI president to establish a training center in Nigeria.
“Nigeria should be international training centre for West African region, especially as Nigeria has the very best of the velodrome in Africa,” he said.
Wazzam said that CAC evolved new strategies for this year’s championship, adding that the schedule had seven new events for athletes from East, West, South and Central Africa.
Meanwhile, Massari, urged all the participating teams to compete in the spirit of sportsmanship.
He said the championship would help the cyclists to gain experience for further championship in the future.
“I am happy to see the large numbers of participants which represent about 50 per cent increase over previous championship held in 2019.
“This is very positive for African track cycling as it demonstrates the desire for more African nations to participate in track cycling”, he said.
Our correspondent reports that 14 countries and the host Nigeria are participating in the championship.
The countries are Ghana, Benin Republic, Niger Republic, Cote’d Ivoire, Togo, Guinea, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Botswana, Burundi, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Nigeria.
The 2022 Africa Cycling championship, which started on Thursday at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, will end on Sunday.