Cycling: How Skol is contributing to talent detection, development

Skol Brewery are the sponsors of Fly Cycling Club. Here, the club’s riders lead the peloton during the Farmers’ Race in Musanze last Saturday. / Sam Ngendahimana

Skol Brewery Ltd continues to conduct competitions of ride stationary bikes in a move to help young cyclists across the country realise their potential in the sport.

The competitions occur at every venue of the Rwanda Cycling Cup, a year-round championship that is also mainly sponsored by Skol.

Competitors, particularly young cyclists, are picked from the race spectators to showcase their abilities through riding stationary bikes at an entertainment stage.

So far this year, these competitions have been held in Rubavu District during the Kivu Race, in Huye District during the Memorial Lambert Byemayire and in Musanze during the Farmers’ Race which took place last Saturday, with hundreds of young talents taking part. 

Speaking to Saturday Sport in Musanze, Karim Tuyishime, the Communications Officer at Skol Brewery Ltd, said the firm organizes competitions to ride stationary bike in a bid to contribute to the country’s efforts to take cycling to another level.

“You will find young talented cyclists in every city of the country who shy away to exploit their talents in normal circumstances, But, if they are given an occasion like this to ride a stationary bike, it boosts their confidence and pushes them to join cycling clubs,” he said. 

“This is also an opportunity for our own Skol Fly Cycling Club to meet young talents in remote areas and introduce them to professional cycling. This is one of the ways through which we contribute to the efforts of taking Rwandan cycling to another level.” 

He further noted that the most exceptional talents from the stationary bikes riding initiative are linked up with local cycling clubs. 

“Skol has always been part of Rwanda cycling. We take pride in promoting cyclists and the cycling sport. That is why you will always see Skol featured in every cycling activity.”

Young cyclists upbeat

Aimé Niyonasenze, 16, from Jenda Sector in Nyabihu District, told this publication that riding a stationary bike proved to him that he can be a good cyclist, and decided to join Nyabihu Cycling Team to put his talent to test.

He said: “While pedaling that stationary bike, trainers from Skol told me that I am fit enough to be a professional cyclist. Frankly speaking, I was not aware that I had that potential in me. After here, I am now going to try my luck with Nyabihu Cycling Club.”

Olivier Hakizimana, 17, from Muhoza Sector in Musanze District, echoed Niyonasenze’s sentiments, stressing that riding a stationary bike helped him to discover his cycling talent, which he believes it will help him make a living out of in the future.

“I resisted for about 15 minutes while pedaling, which the coaches said is proof that I can make a good cyclist. I am going to start training, and looking for mentors, hopefully I can a living out of like star riders in Rwanda such as Samuel Mugisha (Tour du Rwanda 2018 champion).”

Skol are the main sponsors of Rwanda Cycling Cup since its inception in 2015.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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