cycling clubs have been urged to work together to further take the sport to the rest of the country. Jon Mol Cycling Club chairman David Lebalelo said there is a lot of talent at remote areas that needs to be tapped in to. Lebalelo, however, said since cycling is an expensive sport clubs must partner for the development of the game. Lebalelo said this in an interview after last weekend’s National Time Trial Championship held in Rasesa. He said it has been evident from the national championship that cycling is growing in Botswana as there has been a great improvement of times recorded by the riders. According to him, clubs have to work together to develop riders of high calibre.
Botswana Cycling Association (BCA) spokesman, Kagiso Potongwane, concurred with Lebalelo, saying the championship has been a success as it has met its objective. Potongwane said the mandate of the championship is for the clubs to come together and compete against each other. He said it is a platform where young riders’ performances are assessed. “The championships have grown over the years and young athletes have been showing great potential through the times they record. Over the years there have been great improvements in the times recorded at this meet,” said Potongwane. He said the categories that should be given more emphasis are the junior and the U-23 category as the main aim is to develop future riders for the nation. It looks like the association is attaining its objective as more young athletes are beginning to show potential.
The National Time Trial Championship was organised for both the individual and teams to test their ability against each other. In the individual category a youthful and promising Abeng Malete emerged victorious to become the national U-23 male champion. The 20-year-old Malete clocked a time of 1:04:14 to become the champion. He told this publication that the win did not come as a surprised as he worked hard to prepare for the meet. “I trained very well and worked hard for the championship; that is why I won it,” he said. Malete, whose future dream is to become a professional rider, said riding has always been his passion since his early childhood years. Having started riding in 2014 as part of the Africa Youth games, the youngster is said to be excelling very well. He was recruited into joining Jon Mol Cycling Club in preparation for the Youth games and has been holding on since.
He attributed his steady growth in cycling to the passion and determination he has for the sport. He said with these everything is possible and he is planning to fulfil his future dream. Lebalelo confirmed that indeed the young rider could go places if he can be accorded the support he needs. “The future is looking bright for him. He has proven beyond reasonable doubt that he is a strong rider,” he said. Lebalelo pointed out that the young rider only needs proper management and nurturing and he will become Botswana’s cycling export. However, he complained that lack of sponsorship is making it difficult for them to nurture the talent since they do not have adequate equipment. Lebalelo, therefore, called on sponsors to come on board to help develop cycling talent in Botswana.
Malete has his been selected to go for a five-week development programme of the International Cycling Union (UCI). The camp organised by the World Cycling Centre Africa will be held in Potchefstroom, South Africa from the 15th October to 20th November 2016. He is selected together with Amogelang Thwabi and Promise Ntshese both from Botrail Cycling Club. BCA said the purpose of this camp is to expose U-23 male and elite female athletes to international racing to improve the general elite racing standards in Africa. A high-level coaching and performance evaluation will be provided during the camp. They will also be taught administration duties for future.