Believes all are pedaling in same direction
By Franklin Wilson
Following the completion of a successful National Championships this year, which took place over two weekends, President of the Guyana Cycling Federation (GCF) Horace Burrowes has stated that the sport is heading
in the right direction.
Speaking with the media following the completion of the senior leg of the championship on Sunday last, which saw Raynauth ‘Obeah Man’ Jeffrey winning the longest race ever in the history of the championship (103 miles), Burrowes posited that the national body will not in any way stymie the growth of the sport but will be working with all and sundry for the forward thrust of the sport.
The USA based President noted that this year’s competition is the best that has ever been held, pointing out that many of the competitors have been exposed to a higher level of training and competition in the USA and elsewhere which resulted in a high level of competition.
Questioned why the federation has seemingly been on a push with more races being held to supplement what the individual clubs have been organising, Burrowes said that has been the case because it is the only way cyclists can develop and be able to compete against the best in the region.
He said that participation at more regional and international events is a priority of the federation.
”We have to start attending all these international events and meets. I took it upon myself that even if I had to fund it myself, which I have done a couple of times along with the help of some of the clubs in order to have a presence.”
The former national cyclist noted that attending championships so far this year has been a major plus for Guyana which included the 32nd Pan-American Road Cycling Championships that took place in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in May. This was the first time that Guyana attended.
Commenting on the dust being settled with regards to the clubs which had sought to replace the GCF via an IMC, Burrowes answered in the affirmative.
”I think so, I totally think so. Everyone is pretty much on board now with the federation and they understand which is the national body of cycling in this country. There’s no IMC or any other body that can come and take over the national body because we live by a constitution, even to the country lives by a constitution so we have to follow that constitution.”
The federation head said that he has reached out to many of the stakeholders, including cyclists and they are fully aware of where he would like to sport to go and they are happy with the progress.
Burrowes took the opportunity to address the issue about the lack of women competing in the sport.
”This is one of my goals, to get the clubs involved to start recruiting more young women into the sport. Even if I have to come up with some of the bikes, I will do that.”
He informed that he recently presented new bikes to the members of his team and some of the frames collected from the riders can be passed on to some women. “I know this sport is very expensive and hard but getting stuff to help these kids out is a big deal for me.”
Assistance for the federation, Burrowes shared, also comes from a number of his friends in New York as well as his brothers.
”I would not say that I am doing this by myself because I have a lot of support when it comes to this federation.”
For the first time, the GCF used a custom made backdrop for the presentation that have the logos of the federation, UCI, Guyana’s Coat of Arms, National Flag and the Pan American Federation.
The GCF head also pointed out that for the first time many local riders have been able to land contracts overseas, while others have been training on the international circuit which has resulted in a higher level of competition which he said was evident in the just concluded senior championship.
He mentioned Jamal John, Hamza Eastman, Raynauth Jeffrey, Geron Williams, Andrew Hicks, Orville Hinds, Michael Anthony and Paul DeNobrega among others as having all been exposed to a higher level of competition overseas where they are even able to win races and place among the best.
”Everyone of them either just came back from the Pan American games or they just came back from New York or elsewhere racing at a high level. Most of these guys win races abroad so we know that they are really good at what they do.”
Burrowes also informed that the federation had its financial audit done after five years, “So things are moving forward for us, all we need is for people to come on board with us.”
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