The Open Wheel is proud to support two fantastic groups doing important work in their local communities. Money raised through the West Riding Classic is donated to the groups.
In this newsletter we get an update from Goma Cycling Club about their last 12 months.
Goma Cycling Club
Goma Cycling Club are a brilliant fledgling cycling group in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They provide cycling opportunities, training, bikes, leadership and guidance to young boys, girls, men and women in the city of Congo. The have enormous ambition and an even bigger heart.
GCC now has 53 members. We organized ” Velo Vacances 2017″ a first ever event to promote cycling in Goma. About 350 young people attended. We also opened a “training centre” for kids between 3 and 10. Three of our members on a daily basis train about 10 kids. We also opened the club to girls. We continued to encouraged our members through distribution of equipment and bicycles. About 23 bicycles have been given to our members.
We attended the ” festival Amani” for peace and security in Goma. Our contribution is to promote peace by cycling. We continued with our training and breakfast activities. We continued to encourage our members to go to school or attend vocational training.
Successes of our member and events our members have competed in/taken part in:
The Club succeeded to have three riders among the six of the National team ( Jimmy, Daniel and Samuel). They attended several international competitions with the national team: In Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Madagascar, Benin, Togo, Sénégal Côte d’Ivoire. They did well: the best teams were congolese but also always our members were in general among the best U23.
As representatives of the club, 6 of our riders attended races organised by the Rwanda Cycling Federation. The 3 internationals did well. They finished the races among the top 25.
In the DRC, GCC riders won several competitions in Lubumbashi and Kinshasa.
How is cycling in Goma changing and what are the main challenges?
GCC is now part of the pride of the town and more and more people are interested. The general practice of cycling remains low however. Many parents would like their children to join the club but they lack the means to buy bicycles. We distribute as much as we can.
Children, including girls are getting involved with the club and there are now girls and women members which we encourage and help a lot. But it can be difficult to persuade parents it is an activity for girls.
It is difficult to organise events because of lack of sponsors. Where we can we compete and participate in events in Rwanda. Rwanda is more organised but in Congo it is difficult.
One of the main challenges for the club is answering the expectations that we create, maintaining the club alive and our ambition to build a cycling centre in Goma.
Is there any anything else about Goma or Congo or cycling in Africa that you would like to share?
Cycling in Africa can only grow with international support. That’s the case in Rwanda and other top cycling countries. Cycling is becoming a big opportunity for personal development and the community development . We are calling for international solidarity to help structuring cycling in Goma via a centre or academy that will have unexpected added value in our community by creating jobs, contribute to develop cycling in Goma and become a reference for other DRC town and African countries.