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MBABANE – The Eswatini Cycling Association (ECA) is more equipped and empowered on future development plans and events’ organisation.

This comes after ECA Secretary General (SG) Mxolisi Shongwe attended a cycling seminar last week in Egypt. The four-day seminar titled Organisation in Cycling was hosted by the Confederation of African Cycling (CAC). It was aimed at improving the way cycling events were organised and managed. It was during this event that the SG Mxolisi Shongwe was privileged to rub shoulders, network and share development strategic ideas with other member states as well as having talks with the CAC President Dr Wagih Azzam, who also is the vice president of the world cycling governing body. Shongwe said, after the seminar, the domestic cycling association would manage to host better organised events and shift their focus to drawing more women to join cycling as well as develop the juniors.


“We’ve got so much work to do regarding our cycling fraternity. We need to put emphasis on our women cyclists and juniors. We have to build them from our cadets and increase the number of female participants,” Shongwe said. In light of the upcoming National Road Racing Championships, Shongwe said this was a massive opportunity for Eswatini to showcase their talent. “Just to highlight on opportunities for our cyclists, the 2025 Road Racing Championship to be held in Rwanda is a massive opportunity for Eswatini, so we really need to push in terms of our juniors, elite and women cyclists,” he said.

Shongwe added that this was also an eye-opening seminar, as through networking, the neighbouring  federations could collaborate in empowering their officials and athletes. “The networking has helped since I have been added into the sub-Saharan group which is trying to put things together in terms of how we can  share in the pot of resources by the UCI; such as discussing collaboration and see if we can tag along say, if South Africa or the countries are hosting a coaching course of bike mechanist course, then we can send one representative. “With the resources from UCI, there are opportunities that we can be able to expose our cadets so they can perform at a high level. We are also working on a strategy to go to grass roots to bring cyclists from a tender age and to enjoy the sport,” he said.

Shongwe further said having a private meeting with Dr Azzam who highlighted that his office was always open for advice. was a humbling experience. “Meeting and having discussions with Dr Azzam was so humbling, and him highlighting that his office was always open for us to bring ideas on how we can partner and be assisted. Meeting Natalie, who sits in the UCI committee has been eye-opening because we have been working in isolation but now having the connection and contacts with the countries in our region, it makes one have so much confidence that we can be assisted, with the resources,” said Shongwe. He further said the clubs would be informed of the rolling out of the strategic plan after a meeting with the executive members. Meanwhile, ECA President Zwide Nxumalo had announced two more races to be held before the end of the year, with more details to be communicated after finalising with the relevant stakeholders.

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