MEMBERS OF both the Trinidad and Tobago Cycling Federation (TTCF) and Sport Company of TT (SporTT) are currently in Belgium holding talks with the International Cycling Union (UCI) to upgrade the National Cycling Centre (NCC) in Couva into an official satellite centre.
On Saturday, TTCF president Rowena Williams and SporTT’s CEO Jason Williams, and head of partnership and alliances Kairon Serrette, held their first meeting with UCI officials to chart a way forward.
A UCI satellite centre is a unique training hub for athletes coming from developing countries. It offers the same path to elite success by hosting training camps to nurture young athletes and to assist the development of cycling within the region.
Currently, there are four UCI satellite centres worldwide: South Africa, Japan, South Korea and India.
The Ministry of Sport, SporTT, TTCF and the UCI have all agreed to this upgrade which augurs well for cyclists within the Pan American region.
There will be no direct physical change to the NCC structure but the sessions, athletes and coaches involved will follow a UCI-sanctioned programme. Cyclists will benefit from modern training schedules and tactics to help improve their craft to a world-class standard.
In mid-August, Minister of Sport and Community Development Shamfa Cudjoe signed off on several documents with the UCI to have the NCC developed to international standards and be part of their UCI programme.
Since then, the involved organisations have been working assiduously to achieve satellite centre status.
Also joining discussions with the local trio in Belgium are UCI international relations representative Vincent Jacquet, Pan American Confederation of Cycling president Jose Palaez, Caribbean Cycling Confederation president Trevor Bailey and Ambassador to Belgium Colin Connelly.
A statement issued by TTCF on Saturday said, “We look forward to this initiative being formalised by 2022.”