Cycling Federation of Malawi (CFM) says it has embarked on a campaign to attract female cyclists into its competitions.
The development comes after ladies shunned the Presidential Initiative on Sports (PIS) Cycling Championship in Lilongwe last week.
The government-sponsored competition had both men and ladies’ categories but, according to CFM vice-president Jonathan Tengani, no female cyclist showed up for the event that had at least 25 male contestants.
He said it is for this reason that in their future events they will reduce the women’s race distance from 50km and hold the competitions during cooler weather in a bid to lure more female participants.
“We might attribute the ladies’ failure to participate in the PIS contest to the hot weather, the distance or lack of training besides lack of moral support from their partners or families,” Tengani said.
“However, we would love more women to take up cycling as a sport and compete at both national and international stage. Now, we have strategized some ways that might get them on board.”
He also pleaded with the ladies to join cycling clubs close to their residences or WhatsApp/call on 0999105310 and 0888400652 for guidance. They can as well send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ladies category runner-up during the recent Ulaya Classic Cycling Challenge Doreen Kumbatira welcomed CFM’s initiative, saying it will motivate them to take the sport seriously.
“Long distances discourage us and the decision to reduce the stretch is a good idea. It is also important for CFM and well-wishers to provide bikes to the ladies during such events and our male counterparts should reduce the distance of their training sessions so that we get involved,” she said.