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International African Para-cycling Championship opens in Accra

Sat, 10 Dec 2011 Source: --

Accra, Dec. 10, GNA – The 4th edition of the International Cycling Union (UCI) African Para-cycling championship has begun in Accra with a call on the public and society to support disabled persons to develop their faculties to contribute towards national development.

Mr Maxwell Vardon, Executive Secretary of the National Council on Persons with Disability made the call at the start of the two-day para-cycling race on Saturday on the Kanda Highway in Accra, which is being participated by athletes from host country, Ghana, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Albania.

He regretted that the disabled persons have been marginalised and side-lined for so long that most of them have to resort to begging and other anti-social vices to earn a living.

Mr Vardon said the hosting of the championship for the first time in Ghana is very opportune for the disabled to show-case their God-given talents and to erase the wrong perceptions and of their neglect, adding that if given the support and encouragement, the disabled can contribute towards the socio-economic development of the country.

Mr Mohammed Sahnoon, President of the National Cycling Federation commended the performance of the athletes and the encouragement of the public for the success of the championship and said he was optimistic that Ghana would qualify to achieve positive results at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

He noted that the championship is a good preparatory ground for Ghanaian disabled athletes to develop their talents and prowess in sports and assured that measures will to be taken to ensure that their needs and support are provided to enable them excel at international and local sports feats.

Mr Worlanyo Agra, Director-General of the National Sport Authority said hosting of the championship is worthwhile since it has ensured that the athletes have improved on their endurance levels despite their handicap and promised that every assistance would be provided them to improve on their talents.

He said the championship has exposed the challenges of lack of the requisite equipment for the disabled athletes and promised that further support would be sought to assist the ‘Team Ghana’ to adequately prepare to make an impact at the Olympic Games.

Ghana gained the exclusive rights from the world governing body, the UCI to host this year’s event, which will automatically qualify Team Ghana and other African countries by accruing maximum points for the various athletes to the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Categories to be competed for include Hand cycling (HC), Blind Visual (BV), and Tricycle as well as the road race.

Information gathered by GNA Sports indicates that the road races would encompass individual time trials, team relays, individual pursuit, tandem sprint and team sprint and depending on the type and level of disability, riders can compete using standard racing bikes but sometimes with slight modifications made up of tandems, tricycles and hand cycles.

The categories are: Visually impaired and Blind (B) to compete on two wheeled tandems with a sighted pilot or guide; Hand Cycling Classes – H1, H2, H3 and H4 to compete on three wheeled hand propelled cycles; Tricycle Classes T1 and T2 compete on three wheeled leg propelled cycles with Classifications C1, C2, C3, C4 and C5 competing on two wheeled cycles.

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