Hundreds of excited kids from Bugesera and other areas of Rwanda took part in the official inaugural series of races on the Field of Dreams, Israel – Premier Tech’s new bike center, last weekend.
In so many ways, this event was the realization of the vision behind this project: to give the younger generation in the District of Bugasera the opportunity to ride, train, and race in an unprecedented facility. This track, unique in Rwanda, includes 1.2 km of race track made of 5-meter-wide smooth asphalt.
No one was more excited than Kwizera Olivier. The 16-year-old came from a village near the Field of Dreams to participate in his very first race ever. He showed surprising skills and determination, ultimately placing 4th in the U17 category. “It was a challenging experience,” he said after the race, still catching his breath. “But I am proud that I could race so well. Now, I am determined to continue training consistently and improve, especially since I live near the Field of Dreams. I will visit frequently to train, and I believe I can become a great racer.”
So many stories like Olivier’s came to light during Sunday’s inaugural day of racing on the Field of Dreams, which is located near the Serge Gasore Community of Hope in the District of Bugasera, Rwanda.
The junior races, which took place under the banner of The Youth Racing Cup, were organized by the Cycling Federation of Rwanda and the UCI (the world cycling federation), and with the support of the Bugesera District authorities, with the goal of having a series of monthly races at the center.
“Today was an important milestone in the youth development project and for youth cycling in Rwanda,” said Simon Hupperetz, UCI’s technical advisor in the country. “The infrastructure at the Field of Dreams provides an amazing chance for Rwandan cycling to develop at a much higher speed. We have been hoping to see this in Rwanda for years, and now it’s happening – an event taking place in a great and safe facility, dedicated to the youth. It was an eye-opening experience for riders, coaches, and the local community. We plan to have training camps here and many more races. So, this is only the beginning!”
Hundreds of people arrived from all over the villages nearby to watch the races. Many of the spectators were kids who had never experienced such scenes before. Some even took the opportunity to ride on the state-of-the-art Velosolutions pump track that is part of the new center. “It was an electric experience for them,” said Uwamahoro, the Community of Hope’s executive secretary. “It will surely set an inspiration for them to join.”
Many dignitaries arrived for the event, including the Israeli Ambassador to Rwanda, Dr. Ron Adams, and Mr. Shaul Hatzir, who has been leading the Field of Dreams Project in Rwanda.
The Field of Dreams bike center was built with support and donations from IPT owners and partners Sylvan Adams, Ron Baron, Kevin Ham, and Jean Bélanger, and more than a thousand IPT fans from around the world.
Israel – Premier Tech owner Sylvan Adams said, “The Field of Dreams is now a building block in the development of road racing in Rwanda. IPT will be hosting regular UCI-sanctioned races, and discovering and developing local talent at the most grassroots level. Offering opportunities for East Africans in our beautiful sport, especially in the run-up to Kigali hosting the road world championships in 2025, gives me great pride. It is a thrill to watch them race and grow in our sport.”