The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare has described the ongoing 4th African Track Cycling Championship holding at the Velodrome of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja as a testament to the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s concerted efforts towards the development of youth and sports across the country.
Dare made this disclosure at the opening ceremony of the epic event today in Abuja. He affirmed the statement of the President of the Confederation of African Cycling, Mohammed Azzam that the Abuja Velodrome is one of the best in the continent and is capable of hosting more international competitions in the nearest future.
According to Dare, “We are grateful to the Confederation of African Cycling(CAC) and also the Union of International Cycling(UCI) for granting Nigeria the hosting rights for this Championships.”
While expressing satisfaction in the hosting right, the Minister reiterated Government’s commitment to supporting and creating an enabling environment for cycling in Nigeria, African and international cycling bodies in their efforts to develop the Sport.
The Minister further said, ‘’We will use this opportunity to appeal to the Cycling African Confederation (CAC) and the Union of International Cycling(UCI) to always look in the direction of Nigeria for their developmental and training programmes as well as the provision of facilities, equipment and other materials that will make Nigeria, the Cycling hub of Africa.”
He commended the President of the Cycling Federation of Nigeria (CFN), Engineer Giandomenico Massari and his board for the tremendous investments they are making to develop the sport in Nigeria as well as place our cyclists on the world map, adding that the hosting of this Championships is a testimony to some of their giant strides.
Dare urged Team Nigeria to be hospitable and good ambassadors of the country even as he encouraged them to win the championships as they did in 2019 when Nigeria hosted the 2nd edition of the event.
Earlier in his remarks, President of the Cycling African Confederation (CAC) who doubles as the Vice President of the Union of International Cycling (UCI), Dr Mohamed Azzam described the African Track Cycling Championships as a great opportunity for the talented athletes from different countries to gather, compete and share experiences leading to moments of victories.
According to Azzam, ‘’Within its mission to promote and develop Track discipline, CAC is organizing a training camp for riders as well as training courses for coaches and mechanics alongside the CAC Track African Championships.”
He commended the Nigeria government for accepting the hosting right, adding that Abuja Velodrome is rated among the best in Africa.
Also in his welcome address, the President of the Cycling Federation of Nigeria (CFN), Engineer Giandomenico Massari commended the Ministry for the unflinching support to the Federation which has dovetailed into the hosting of the 4th edition of the championships in Nigeria.
‘’It is indeed very encouraging to see the large entry numbers which represent a fifty percent increase over the previous years. This is very positive for African Track Cycling as it demonstrates the desire for more African Nations to participate in Track Cycling,” he affirmed.
A total number of 15 African countries are currently participating in the Abuja 2022 African Track Cycling Championships namely; Ghana, Benin Republic, Niger Republic, Cote’d Ivoire, Togo, Guinea, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Botswana, Burundi, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria as well as Nigeria, the host country.