Islamabad: In a step that may pave way towards hopes of a positive forward movement and de-escalation of tense ties between Pakistan and India, a team of Pakistan Cycling Federation (PCF) will be travelling to New Delhi to participate in the forthcoming Asian Track Cycling Championship.
President PCF Syed Azhar Ali Shah said Pakistani cycling team will participate in the championship in New Delhi, scheduled to be held from June 18-22.
“The decision about the participation of the national team in the Asian Track Cycling Championship has been taken in the Executive Council meeting of the federation,” said Azhar Ali Shah.
“In this connection, trials for selection of cyclists will be held on May 8 at Cycling Velodrome Lahore. All affiliated units of PCF, including Pakistan Army and WAPDA, have been directed to field their riders before the selection committee,” he added.
It will also be ensured that all the Pakistani riders, who get nominated by their managers after trial, possess a valid passport for visa application and processing.
It was also highlighted that possession of a valid cycling license is also kept as a mandatory requirement.
The Pakistan Olympics Association (POA) has not accredited the PCF, which is why cyclists have missed participation in various international events.
“In the past, POA did not grant accreditation to PCF in various international sports events due to which the cyclists missed many important international events. POA must change their attitude towards cycling and give due status to PCF,” said Azhar Ali Shah.
The trend of cycling in Pakistan does not get the spotlight, even in the local channels, dedicated towards promoting sporting events in the country.
But, the sport is fast increasing its value as club-level cyclists are said to be trained and equipped with international level facilitations to meet the criteria for participation in international sporting events.
Shah urged the relevant sports ministry and its subsidiary quarters to allow PCF to participate in the coming South Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.