Team Rwanda Cycling has secured a long term partnership deal with Turkish Airlines as the official carrier of the national cycling team.
Accustomed to competing in over 10 international events annually, the national cycling team will benefit from a 40% discount on each ticket and a waiver on all luggage including bikes for the cyclists and incoming equipment from sponsors abroad.
The country manager of Turkish Airlines Burcin Isler told Times Sport that, “We are proud to be in partnership with Team Rwanda because we want to collaborate with the best sport in this country and actually help them reduce their costs which will in turn assist them to meet other expenses.”
According to the Director of Marketing and Logistics Kimberly Coats, Team Rwanda has spent up to $61,500 in air tickets and $7000 this year on bike fees as luggage for the cyclists who competed at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the UCI U-23 World Championships in Spain, Swiss Epic, Tour de Blida in Algeria and Tour du Congo among others.
Coats, who revealed that the team’s budget for next year is $80,000, said that the new deal means that they will save up to $30,000. She said, “We shall use 30% of the savings in training Rwandan staff while the rest will be used in training camps for the national side, women and girls, junior riders as well as the development of the upcoming BMX team.
Retiring riders will be trained to transform into team mechanics, nutritionists and soigneurs as a way of employing Rwandans and also because they can continue to mentor young riders from experience.
Rwanda’s head coach Jonathan ‘Jock’ Boyer has expressed content at the new dea. “This is very good for us as a team because it means that we can travel to so many events which, in turn, increases the riders’ experience.”
Turkish Airlines also sponsored the Eritrean cycling team with air tickets from Asmara to Kigali after the team expressed concern over financial constraints. Eritrea and Ethiopia are already at the ARCC in Musanze ahead of the Tour of Rwanda that is scheduled for November 16-23 across the country.
Turkish Airlines also sponsors Manchester United, Barcelona FC, Besiktas and the Los Angeles Lakers.