Keeping Cycling Alive

President of the Antigua and Barbuda Cycling Federation St. Clair Williams says his organization has been focusing on keeping cycling alive during the forced break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought all sporting activities to a standstill on March 13, forcing the federation to cancel its 2020 program. 

One of the exciting things that has happened during the break is the successful training of Commissaires Williams said. Five members of the federation participated and were successful in a course over the break, producing the island’s first-ever qualified Commissaires. 

They are former president of the federation for over a decade Cliff Williams, George Baptiste, Cassandra Murray, Brian Lyn, and Derrick Sutherland. Williams who was a guest on Pointe FM’s Touchline program expressed his excitement with the new appointees and said he trusts the knowledge garnered from such a course will not stay with them, but that they will act as a conduit to implement knowledge transfer and enhance their operations. 

Williams noted that the Commissaires will be the federation’s referees and judges while keeping the local cyclists in check. The ABCF is still making plans to host their planned Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) race in August. “We have received a lot of interest in the UCI planned event from near and far Williams expressed. 

The Federation will also be approaching the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment and Cabinet with their health protocols with the view of restarting competitive racing in January with a circuit race following the necessary guidelines, before advancing to road racing. 

Williams said the federation is also hoping to restart their development programs in schools and communities which were brought to a halt by the pandemic earlier this year. “Our aim is to make cycling the number one sport on the island.” 

“As we look to step up our youth development program, 10 bikes are expected on island later this year or early next year with components and parts for cyclists 13 to 15 years old,” Williams said.

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