With the limitations in conducting events in 2020, Oceania’s member federations have been fortunate to be able to progress some critical development initiatives with solidarity support from the International Cycling Union (UCI). These include:
GUAM: With the postponement of the planned inaugural Pacific Cup event in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, host nation Guam has been able to step up preparations for the 2021 version. The solidarity funding grant will be directed towards three key initiatives;
- Training and accrediting officials to enable the host nation to provide key qualified personnel to conduct the racing. Supported by Auscycling (AUS).
- Upgrade of a timing system to facilitate a professional event and expedite accurate results.
- Construct additional race infrastructure – time trial ramp, podium, start/finish structure – to again professionalise the presentation of the event.
FIJI: A solidarity grant for Cycling Fiji has facilitated stage 2 of their cycling hub project in Suva. At the core of this project is an exciting venture in partnership with the University of the South Pacific (USP) to develop a BMX ‘Pump Track’, which will provide tremendous opportunity for getting local youth active on bikes with a longer term view of sporting opportunity.
Complimenting this is the purchase of additional bikes, componentry and safety equipment, along with a transporting facility to take bike education to the community. This will also be backed up by coaching and first aid training for presenters.
SAMOA: The Cycling Federation of Samoa is presenting the Pacifica Cycling Challenge. A cycling event to be held in New Zealand early 2021 targeting Pacific Islanders who ride bikes or may be interested in trying it out. This unique event will be targeting men, women, boys and girls of all ages and from all Pacific cultures.
Strategically, the Pacifica Challenge will not just be targeting the Pacific community around Auckland where it will be held, but it is also expected to generate interest in cycling back in Samoa and other Pacific islands.
TAHITI: Amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tahitian Cycling Federation is working towards an inaugural staging of a national BMX Championships. Should this event come to fruition, there will be solidarity support to provide presentation and promotional assistance.
Oceania Cycling Confederation (OCC) has earmarked solidarity funding to support the rebuilding of the Vanuatu federation, and the Cook Islands are also in receipt of seed funds to commence their BMX track project. Both these projects are awaiting the lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions to be able to progress.
Oceania Group 1 nations are also working on projects supported by UCI and OCC development funds:
- AusCycling are developing and delivering a specialist coaching program for coaching women and girls. This program will be available on-line; which will include the Pacific.
- Cycling New Zealand are working in partnership with the Tasman Cycling region to present a new junior road tour as a key strategic initiative of their development program
Meanwhile, like everyone else, Oceania Cycling Confederation is working with potential hosts to rebuild the Oceania Cycling Championships schedule for 2021.