BY FREEMAN MAKOPA
AFTER a remarkable career in which she rose to become the country’s most decorated female cyclist, Linda Warren continues to lift the Zimbabwe flag high in the sport following her recent appointment as a board member of the Confederation of African Cycling (Cac).
Warren has been involved in local cycling for almost three decades winning multiple national titles while the highlight of her career came in 2006 when she won a bronze medal in the time trial at the 2002 African championships.
The now United Kingdom-based former cycling champion was recently appointed to sit on the board of the management committee of Cac in Cairo, Egypt, as the continental body seeks to tap into her experience in the sport.
The new continental role enabled Warren to attend the 190th Congress of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), which was held in Leuven, Belgium as a voting delegate.
The UCI congress, which was held on the side-lines of the 2021 UCI Road World Championships brought together representatives of 95 of the UCI’s member national federations.
Cycling Zimbabwe president Norman Bourne said the local governing body felt honoured to have one of them representing, not only the local cycling fraternity, but the whole continent at the biggest stage such as the UCI congress.
“We are really excited that she managed to secure a post as the board member of the Confederation of African cycling and this is due to her hard work as a Zimbabwean official and has represented the country on a larger part,” said Bourne in an interview with The Sports Hub.
“Right now she is based in the United Kingdom, but she is always active in supporting cycling in Zimbabwe which includes attending some of the congresses and events that need our participation and she also goes in other international events on my behalf so I can safely say she has played a pivotal role in the development of cycling in Zimbabwe,” he said.
Bourne said Warren’s appointment on the continental board showed that the continent is now appreciating Zimbabwe’s efforts in promoting the sport in Africa.
“For cycling Zimbabwe, it’s the first time we’ve got representation on such a board and we have never had anyone sitting on that before and this shows they now recognise our existence and our small input.”
However, Bourne bemoaned lack of government funding for the sport in the country, and called on the relevant authorities to come on board to support the sport which has the capacity to put the country on the world map.
“We have no government funding and we fund the sport from our own pockets and we are saying the government should come on board and assist us in order for the sport to grow. Most of our executive members are volunteers, but we have been doing well for the past years and if funding is availed to us we are confident we will do bigger things,” he added.