Apart from charity The President’s Charity Cycling Challenge, which will be held on 3rd September, is also envisaged to help capacitate the Botswana Cycling Association (BCA). To increase the impact of the challenge, The Office of the President has roped in Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) and Botswana Cycling Association (BCA) to help with the organisation. BNSC chairperson Solly Reikeletseng – a member of the challenge’s organising committee – said they want to see the race grow in leaps and bounds so that it also helps the growth of cycling in the country. Reikeletseng said this at the launch of The President’s Charity Cycling Challenge logo in Gaborone on Tuesday. Reikeletseng said the challenge should build capacity for BCA. “If BCA has capacity it will have so much more to offer and they can easily become a world class association,” he said. Furthermore, Reikeletseng said the challenge – which will be an annual event – must fit into the national strategy of Sport Tourism. “In future we want this event to be an international event that will help even in promoting sport tourism in the country. This will result in a lot of money being brought into the country,” he said. He pointed out that with such cycling challenges they will be in a better position to best lobby government to improve cycling infrastructure. He said government should start building roads with cycling ways not only to avoid cyclists being hit by cars but also promote cycling in the country.
The President’s Charity Cycling Challenge, which is in its second year, is aimed at attracting everyone from professional riders to cycling lovers in and outside the country. Private Secretary to the President George Tlhalerwa said the main aim of the challenge is to raise money for charity. Tlhalerwa said the challenge however combines competition, fun and charity. He revealed that in 2016 with limited resources they had they managed to raise close to a P1 million. He said this year with the help of BNSC and BCA they are hoping to raise even more money to use in different charitable activities that include the Presidential Housing Appeal. Registration for the Challenge is now open at a fee of P200 across all categories. The categories include among others the 112km, 60km, 30km and 12km races. BCA secretary general Tlamelo Dube said he is happy that BCA is part of this year’s challenge. “The winner of the main race which is 112km race will walk away with P10 000. This is rare price money in any cycling challenge in the country,” he said. He, therefore, called on all to be part of this exciting challenge.