The Rwanda Cycling Federation (Ferwacy) is embarking on a journey to support women’s cycling across the country with an objective to encourage women to embrace the sport.
Ferwacy president Aimable Bayingana told Times Sport that a strategic plan has been drawn up to increase the number of women in cycling in Rwanda.
“We started with the boys but now we are going to put more focus on the girls. We do not have enough means but we are seeing how to improve that. We have some girls in Rwamagana so we want to see what we can do to get them to the next level,” revealed Bayingana.
Bayingana further said that they will launch a talent identification race around La Palisse and some areas around Bugesera, because there are several girls who practise cycling in that area.
Ferwacy has since 2009 organised a national women cycling championship. Reigning national champion Jean d’Arc Girubuntu is excited about the prospect of becoming a professional cyclist and is looking forward to an era where women’s cycling is as big as the men’s in Rwanda.
“I love cycling and I am working hard to make sure that I get better every day,” said Girubuntu. The laid back teenager alongside Beatha Ingabire made a debut appearance at the 2013 Africa Cycling Championships in Sharm el sheikh, Egypt.
Girubuntu finished 8th and Ingabire came 10th in the women’s junior road race competition.
In May this year, Ferwacy organised the second edition of the CycloFemme event in Rwanda joining 303 other groups across the world to raise awareness about women’s cycling in the country.
Over 125 riders including men participated in the 50km ride.
Kimberly Coats, the director of marketing and logistics at Team Rwanda Cycling said, “Although the sport of cycling is new to women in Rwanda, great strides can be made with the support of Ferwacy, Ministry of sports and sponsors in Rwanda.”
In May, Benitha Uwamariya, 18, and Clementine Niyonsaba, 17, represented Rwanda at the African Youth Games in Gaborone, Botswana in May before competing at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China in August.