Newly elected GCF president pledges focus on development, transparency

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… Cyclists do not have to fear discrimination

MERELY a day after attaining the presidency of the Guyana Cycling Federation (GCF), former National cyclist Linden Dowridge has pledged that under him and his executives, cycling will be revived locally as they will now focus on development of the young athletes. Transparency at every level will also be paramount, according to Dowridge.

In a discussion with Chronicle Sport, Dowridge underscored the importance of beginning with a clean slate and sorting out the cycling fraternity from the ground upwards. This he pointed out will begin at the club level.

“Our immediate aim is to make the GCF more functional at every level and to keep the body viable throughout our tenure. As a federation it is our duty to encourage and support the various clubs, this is why we, at the GCF, have pledged our support and every resource available towards helping clubs countrywide in any way possible.”

On another note, Dowridge noted that there are too many dormant clubs across the country. This, he explained, will be addressed as soon as possible; “If we have to revive those clubs we will, if not, we will look at having them merge with larger clubs if they are in agreement.”

Meanwhile; Malcolm Sonoram who is now the Racing Secretary revealed that the Racing Committee will now be renamed and changed to the Racing and Development Committee.

Under Sonoram, that committee will move to establish an ‘A’ and a ‘B’ team of National cyclists picked from the current crop across Guyana.

To this end he highlighted; “We will be looking at cyclists based on their performance. We will not be tolerating any favours, this will no longer be a friends-and-family affair, and cyclists will have to earn their spots through performances.

There will be absolutely no discrimination against anyone, so cyclists have nothing to fear; we will work tirelessly on bringing back cycling to the fore of Guyanese sports.”

“We will be running the GCF in a professional and businesslike manner. Through this we hope to build partnerships with corporate Guyana to achieve our goals of developing our young cyclists and at the same time, moving the sport of cycling in the right direction,” Sonoram stated.

Both Dowridge and Sonoram shared that the GCF will not be a one-man show but it will be all-inclusive and transparent in all its dealings.

Another main objective of the newly elected executive is the revival of National cycling coach, Hassan Mohamed’s nursery of young budding cyclists.

“Coach Hassan’s nursery is on the brink of dying and without the introduction of new blood to the sport, it will slowly wane away. To this end we are looking to have former athletes and coaches go to schools across the country to try and  attract young cyclists.”

In response to the question of more GCF-organised races, Dowridge revealed that the classification system might undergo some tweaks while at least three additional races, inclusive of stage races, will be added to the GCF calendar,

Asked about fielding a National cycling team in the near future, Sonoram and Dowridge said that it is very possible that Guyana will be represented by a 5-member team as soon as October, at the Tobago Cycling Classic in the Twin Island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

Among the names up for consideration are Michael Anthony, Team Coco’s wheelsman Jamual John, United We Stand’s Briton John and Andrew Hicks along with Trojan PSL’s Curtis Dey and Romello Crawford.

The GCF has already begun their process of professionalism with creating a Facebook page, acquiring a domain on the World Wide Web which means that the federation’s executives can have their own email addresses @gcf.com; also in the future a website is envisioned.

After the GCF’s elections on Tuesday afternoon at the Guyana Olympic Association’s head office in Liliendaal, the following is the list of executives:

President – Linden Dowridge

1st Vice-president – Paul Cho Wee Nam

2nd Vice-president – Oneika D’Agrella Ramsuchit

3rd Vice-president – Enzo Matthews

Secretary – Marc Sonoram

Treasurer – Inga Peters

Race Secretary – Malcolm Sonoram

Assistant Racing Secretary – Steve Ramsuchit