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FCL awaits UCI equipment

Leemisa Thuseho

THE Federation of Cycling Lesotho (FCL) is looking forward to receiving bicycles and other cycling equipment from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) headquarters in Switzerland.

The deal has been facilitated by the UCI Solidarity Project.

FCL commissioner women Liteboho Letlala on Friday said apart from bicycles, they will also receive attire, bottles, tyres, and tubes.

“We applied for the assistance from the UCI Solidarity Project like any other country and since Lesotho had performed well in international competitions in 2019, our proposal for the assistance was approved,” Letlala said.

“Malawi, Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast and Lesotho were bidding for the help and we won. The equipment is expected to arrive in Durban before the end of this month.”

She said they had to choose what kind of assistance they needed to enhance the growth of local cycling.

“We told them that we already had good cycling terrains and good number of children and women willing to join the sport but our main challenge was the lack of equipment for recruitment and women empowerment.

“The other challenge was that our development equipment was not up to standard. Therefore, the union promised to help us with international standard bicycles that are suitable for development and international competitions,” Letlala said.

Although they had requested 20 bicycles, they were promised 10 mountain bikes and 5 road racing bikes.

The equipment will be used for youth recruitment, development and women empowerment.

Currently, there are eight active elite women and few development riders in the sport and Letlala admitted that this was a small number considering the growth which the country needs. Therefore, the availability of equipment will help improve the numbers.

“There are a lot of women out there who are willing to join the sport but it was difficult to go out to recruit them without equipment. The equipment belongs to the association and we are not going to give it to anyone. We are only going to use it for recruitment activities.

“However, we can still lend some of the bikes to our riders whenever they need them for international races,” she added.

According to Letlala, the shipping costs from Switzerland to Durban will be taken care by the UCI while FCL will only have to pay for transportation from Durban to Lesotho.

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