Cycling Federation appeals for support to procure equipment
The Technical Director of the Ghana Cycling Federation, Mr Shaaban Mohammed has appealed to philanthropists and corporate bodies to assist Ghana’s Paracycling team to procure the needed equipment to enable them train and participate in the forthcoming 4th UCI Africa Continental Paracycling championship to be hosted by Ghana.
Mr Shaaban regretted that most of the para-cyclists lack the needed equipment to compete favourably made up tri-cycles, hand bikes, tandems and racing bikes and other equipment to be better placed to compete in the games scheduled from 10th – 11th December, 2011 in Accra.
Iqra Limited, dealers of bicycle equipment has promised to donate a number of bikes for the use of the athletes at the event while the Ghana Blind Union and some of the para- cyclists have also willingly agreed to release their bikes while Disability Options, Ghana has pledged to donate a trophy for the championship.
Ghana gained the exclusive rights from the world governing body, the UCI to host the event, which will automatically qualify Team Ghana to the Olympic Games.
Mr Shaaban said the African Paracycling Championship is a must qualifier event towards the London 2012 Olympic Games which will accrue maximum points for the various Para-athletes.
Categories to be competed include Hand cycling (HC), Blind Visual (BV), and Tricycle.
Information gathered by GNA Sports indicates that the road races would encompass individual time trials, team relays, individual pursuit , tandem sprint and team sprint and depending on the type and level of disability, riders can compete using standard racing bikes but sometimes with slight modifications made up of tandems, tricycles and hand cycles.
According to the rules, all athletes are required to undergo a classification process to compete in Para-cycling events. Classification of the athletes is simply a structure for competitions, thus athletes with disabilities are grouped into classes defined by the degree of function presented by the disability.
The categories are: Visually impaired and Blind (B), to compete on two wheeled tandems with a sighted pilot or guide; Hand Cycling Classes – H1, H2, H3 and H4, compete on three wheeled hand propelled cycles; Tricycle Classes T1 and T2 compete on three wheeled leg propelled cycles with Classifications C1, C2, C3, C4 and C5 compete on two wheeled cycles.
Mr Shaaban stressed the need for all athletes to improve on their fitness levels, strength and skills to enable them give them good performance and to have reasonable time to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games and other events.
Meanwhile the Countries which have confirmed and registered to participate in the championship include South Africa, Kenya, Benin, Togo, Cote D’Ivoire, Niger, with foreign Para cyclists coming from Albania and Poland.