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Mountain biking coming to Jamaica
Vaughn Phang, president of the Jamaica Cycling Federation (JCF), has announced plans to introduce mountain biking and BMX as an elite sport in Jamaica.
Fresh from a meeting of the Pan American Cycling Federation in Los Angeles, California, Phang and other regional heads discussed ways to move cycling forward in the region, particularly as it relates to the English-speaking Caribbean countries who have lagged behind its South American counterparts in the technical administration and funding of the sport.
The meeting involved federation presidents from St Lucia, Antigua, Cura?ao, St Vincent and top brass members of USA Cycling including Jim Ochowicz, board director; Steve Johnson, chief executive officer; and Sean Petty, chief operating officer.
"A lot was derived from this meeting as we seek to undergo further restructuring at the local administrative level in the context of the requisite technical training and financial assistance needed for advancing the sport in Jamaica," Phang reported.
He said that the meeting provided insight and facilitation tools for funding, administration, regulation, communication, and the training and development of specific disciplines that are non-traditional to Jamaica, such as mountain bikes and BMX to set the stage for a more realistic chance of qualifying not only in the cycling road and track events but also the non-traditional disciplines in the 2012 Olympics.
The JCF president expressed optimism for improvements at the local level explaining that the strategies developed out of these discussions will lead to not only improved communication and regulation which would help Jamaica and its regional counterparts in developing sustainable youth and technical programmes, but also funding which would allow for increased effectiveness to deliver customised support, especially for developing countries.
"Jamaica could benefit directly from this as we are in the process of introducing mountain biking and BMX as a regulated and elite sport," he said.