Israel Start-Up Nation rounded off another inspiring and educational training camp with the Bugesera Women’s Cycling Team in Rwanda. The goal to both further educate the riders about cycling and to support the local community with bikes was achieved.

The eight-day visit consisted of daily training on the road, sessions to increase the riders’ cycling skill sets, lectures, and explanations about essential cycling products provided by our partners to improve strength.

Fantini Wines supports Bugesera community with fifty bikes

In addition to the set schedule, together Fantini Wines and ISN donated more than fifty bikes to kids from the local community. These bikes will provide an opportunity for the youths to join a weekly training ride designed to be fun and improve their cycling skills.

The donation from Fantini Wines was highly appreciated by the general secretary of the BCC, Innocente Uwamahoro. “With this support, we can grow our team. Every time the children want to ride a bike, they can come to our club and we will lend them a kit and a bike, so they can enjoy riding,” she said.

Around fifty children from the area came to the first session with the new bikes. ISN’s trainers Awet Gebremedhin, Tal Alon, and Sjors Beukeboom, taught them the basics of riding.

Liliane Kayirebwa, the coordinator of the women’s cycling team, said: With this support, we can grow our team. Every time the children want to ride a bike, they can come to our club and we will lend them a kit and a bike, so they can enjoy riding.”

“We will pass on the knowledge we gained to the younger kids, by organizing a weekly training on the road.”

“From now on, we can ride altogether. We will look like a peloton of cyclists. I am very much looking forward to that. I hope the children from Bugesera will become as excited about bikes as us.”

Partners make Racing for Change successful in Rwanda

The support from Israel Start-Up Nation’s partners was also more than welcome in Bugesera. Liliane Kayirebwa, the coordinator of the women cycling team, said she was appreciative of the cycling computer devices by Hammerhead, which will now help them with more accurate training.

“We are now able to keep track of our activities more accurately. We will share our training efforts with Tal, Awet, and Sjors, to learn and improve even more.”

Maxxis donated several inner tubes and puncture-proof tires, Orange Seal gave their high-quality sealant, HJC Sports provided helmets, and Maurten brought gels and mixes for extra energy. Finally, SpiderTech contributed a variety of their effective tapes for faster recovery and extra muscle support.

ISN’s trainers explained the functionality of the items throughout the week, so the Bugesera Cycling Team can take advantage of the sponsored products. Also, the women learned about bike fitting, training schemes, race preparation, team tactics, recovery, bike cleaning, nutrition and sleep cycles.

BCT’s women learn quickly

Laila Uwingabiri, one of the junior riders, said she learned a lot from the lectures and explanations and is looking forward to working towards her future on the bike. “I am very happy with the help of the three trainers, Israel Start-Up Nation and its partners. We cannot thank them enough.”

Israeli trainer Alon said she saw committed women, who were eager to learn. “Every day was fully packed with exercises, lectures and activities. The women were curious and competitive. Their response was great, and they learned quickly.”

Gebremedhin agreed with Alon. “In the beginning, I was surprised by their strength. Tests we did throughout the week confirmed their power. Some of the girls are really talented. I am very happy we could help them to improve their training in the future. They should dream big, especially given their strength and mentality.”

Beukeboom, involved in the Racing for Change program since the beginning: “I felt like we really made a difference here, an impact. If I compare the knowledge and skills from the women of the day I saw them for the first time, with their knowledge and skills after this second training camp, I see a huge improvement. Their rapid development gave a lot of energy and motivation, every day again. We inspired each other, and we changed each other’s lives.”

Racing for Change develops in a high pace

Israel Start-Up Nation is committed to the continued collaboration with the BCT, to make a difference and change their lives for the better.

ISN’s Racing For Change initiative has proven itself successful as it has quickly taken on a number of different projects. After their first visit to Rwanda and the BCT in May, it was announced that the team would begin its transition towards a fleet of ‘green’ cars, exploring the opportunities to use zero-emission vehicles in the professional cycling peloton.

To support ISN’s #RacingForChange projects, fans and followers can buy match worn shirts from its riders currently active in the Vuelta a España. All proceeds made from the auctions go towards the team’s Racing For Change initiatives.

Foto’s: Sjors Beukeboom & Osee Nkurikiyimana