Cyclists in the operational area of Azumah Resources Ghana Limited, an Australian Gold Exploration Company in the Nadowli-Kaleo District, at the week end defied the cold harmattan winds, to competition for honours at a community cycling event.
The event, instituted by the company as an annual fun programme to extol the health, environmental, sports and economic benefits of cycling, saw 100 cyclists from eight communities competing in the 20-kilometre race.
The cyclists who rode on rickety bicycles, started the race at 8.00 am from Nanga through Tangasia through Yiziiri to Nadowli town, and ended at the forecourt of the District Assembly.
Onlookers who filed by the roadside to catch glimpse of them, cheered while they rode by on the deplorable road.
Some of the cyclists experienced tyre bursts and chain-cuts on their bicycles, and had to discontinue the race in disappointment.
However, despite the harmattan winds and the deplorable nature of the road, 27-year old Tuobo Kuuvengba from Muisama village, came in a record time of 9.22 to win the race.
Addressing the cyclists, Mr. Vitus Ngaanuma, Community Relations Manager of the Company, said the company was more concerned about the health and welfare of individual members in the communities.
He said the company decided to introduce cycling event because it was the commonest means of transport in the area.
He said it also brings along benefits including environmental protection, health impact, especially reduction in cardiovascular cases, mental health, and the ability to coordinate the body of riders, while its economic and social benefits are also enormous.
He encouraged the youth to take bicycle riding seriously, because it helps to keep them fit, while advising those with motorcycles to keep them off the road, and use bicycles when travelling on short journeys.
Mr. Ngaanuma said the company was considering the involvement of women in the coming years’ competitions, and would diversify its games and extend them to basic and second cycle schools in the district.
All participating cyclists were presented with solar lamps, and the first 10 cyclists awarded with brand new bicycles.
Azumah branded football jerseys were also presented to youth teams from Nanga, Yiziiri and Tangasia.
Mr. Kuuvengba, on behalf of the cyclists, thanked Azumah Resources, for introducing cycling event into the community to help unearth talents.
He appealed to the company to provide the cyclists with racing bikes, and offer him training outside Ghana to improve on his skills.
‘I could have ended the race in a good time, but for my ill health. I am treating malaria and my bicycle is not good,” he complained. GNA