Team Rwanda Cycling has appointed American Tarah Cole as the head coach for women’s cycling team and to take charge of female cyclists in the country.
Cole is also expected to scout, identify and train local women cyclists to eventually move to an all-African women’s professional team currently in its early formation stages.
According to Rwanda Cycling Federation (FERWACY), president, Aimable Bayingana, Rwandan female cyclists are fortunate to finally have someone solely focused on them, an opportunity that they should not take for granted.
“Rwanda has a strong history of supporting the advancement of women in government and business, sports should be no different. Having a coach to solely focus on developing women’s cycling is paramount to our success as an organisation and to these female cyclists,” Bayingana said in a statement on Tuesday.
Cole arrived in Rwanda on August 22 and started her first testing/training camp for women on August 29 and the camp will run through to September 8.
Her main focus until February 2018, will be scouting, testing, training and developing a full women’s team, both juniors and elite, as Rwanda prepares to host the 2018 African Continental Championships in which Rwanda’s goal is to increase their medal count.
To date, Rwanda has one women’s medal from African Continental Championships, which was won by Jeanne d’arc Girubuntu in 2015, in Morocco.
Cole, a former collegiate runner, started cycling after suffering chronic running related injuries. She spent two seasons racing locally in her home state of Ohio where she honed her skills and learned the tactics of the sport.
In 2017, Cole raced for Hagens Berman | Supermint, a top women’s professional team based in the US.
Regarding the potential challenges ahead, Cole said, “The language barrier is challenging. I want to know what the girls are thinking and also them to know what I think about. I’m trying to learn Kinyarwanda because being in tune with your riders is key as a coach.”