The Ghana Cycling Federation has appealed to sports enthusiasts, philanthropists and corporate bodies and other benevolent organisations to come to the assistance of the paracycling team to procure the needed equipment to enable them train and participate in the forthcoming 4th UCI Africa Continental Paracycling Championship to be hosted by Ghana.
The 4th UCI Africa Continental Paracycling Championship to be hosted for the first time by Ghana is scheduled to come off from 10th-11 December, 2011 in Accra.
Mr Shaaban Mohammed, Technical Director of the Federation, who made the appeal during a meeting of the Local Organising Committee for the Championship, regretted that most of the para-cyclists lack the needed equipment made up tri-cycles, hand bikes, racing bikes and others to be better placed to compete in the games that would qualify the teams to the 2012 London Olympic Games.
He said the African Paracycling Championship is a must qualifier event towards the London 2012 Olympic Games which will accrue maximum points for the various Para-athletes and every assistance is therefore needed to adequately prepare the Ghanaian team to ‘Host and qualify for the Olympic Games.
Ghana gained the exclusive rights from the world governing body, the UCI to host this year’s event which will automatically qualify Team Ghana to the Olympic Games.
Meanwhile Iqra Limited, dealers of bicycle equipment has promised to donate a number of bikes and repair some of the bikes for the use of the athletes at the event while the Ghana Blind Union and some of the para- cyclists have also willingly agreed to release their bikes with Disability Options, Ghana pledging to donate a trophy for the championship.
Categories to be competed for at the Championship includes Hand Cycling (HC), Blind Visual (BV), and Tricycle.
Information gathered by GNA Sports indicates that the road races would encompass individual time trials, team relays, individual pursuit tandem sprint and team sprint and depending on the type and level of disability, riders can compete using standard racing bikes but sometimes with slight modifications made up of tandems, tricycles and hand cycles.
According to the rules of the championship, all athletes are required to undergo a classification process to compete in Para-cycling events. Classification of the athletes is a structure designed for para cycling competitions, thus athletes with disabilities are grouped into classes defined by the degree of function presented by the disability.
The categories are: Visually impaired and Blind (B), to compete on two wheeled tandems with a sighted pilot or guide; Hand Cycling Classes – H1, H2, H3 and H4, compete on three wheeled hand propelled cycles; Tricycle Classes T1 and T2 compete on three wheeled leg propelled cycles with Classifications C1, C2, C3, C4 and C5 compete on two wheeled cycles.
Mr Shaaban stressed the need for all athletes to improve on their fitness levels, strength and skills to enable them give them good performance and to have reasonable time to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games and other events.
Meanwhile the Countries which have confirmed and registered to participate in the championship include South Africa, Kenya, Benin, Togo, Cote D’Ivoire, Niger, with foreign Para cyclists coming from Albania and Poland. gna