The Hidden Athlete Project is an initiative designed to mobilised cyclists located in one of the poorest regions of Uganda. The cycling talent in Southern Uganda is extraordinary yet youth in this region have no means to realise their dreams or their incredible talent.
The Hidden Athlete Project will provide Bikes, Equipment, Clubhouse, Team Affiliation, Race Kit, Tools & Funds for Travel & Accommodation to provide these cyclists with a chance to realise a dream.
Masaka Cycling Club. Wondering where Masaka is? Or maybe why you’re about to read a blog about a cycling club you have most likely never heard of.
Well there are a couple of reasons. Firstly, a legendary mate of the Bike Chaser team has been spruiking the message about this club to anyone who will listen (and sometimes even when they won’t) for quite a while now, and secondly that same mate has embarked on a journey to enable cycling fanatics on the other side of the world to live their dream, in a truly amazing way, and the Bike Chaser team recently had the privilege of attending an information night where we experienced the stories of how it all began and the impacts already being seen.
So let’s begin with, where is Masaka. Masaka is a town located in Southern Uganda, approx. 130 km southwest of Kampala at an elevation of 1,310 Mtrs. It is a market town and is an important commercial centre to the surrounding coffee growing regions.
With a distinct lack of traffic laws and sealed roads it’s hard to image a cycling club even exists here, and it’s even harder to imagine that the cyclists at this club possess a natural talent for cycling at a level we can only imagine.
Although we could go on, we think it’s best for our good mate Ross Burrage to share his story and that of the Masaka cycling club. Check it out in the below video
Phase One: The Hidden Athlete ProjectPhase One of The Hidden Athlete Project includes a call-out for Bike Donations to allow the top end talent from Southern Uganda to compete at both National & Africa level. If you have a top end bike you wish to donate please get in touch. The Phase Two video shows how you can financially support the project if you can't manage a Bike donation.
We all love cycling, and we all understand the challenges this team face in their day to day lives in Uganda. Then throw in: trying to train / getting yourself to events / acquire bikes and parts while working 7 days a week for around $40 (AUD) a month.
Why Masaka Cycling Club
This project is designed to mobilise some of the best male and female cyclists in Uganda that happen to be born and based in the South, yet do not have access to equipment or opportunity due to their level of poverty. This project will also include a development program for youth, disadvantaged and disabled. We are the Inclusive Club.
Masaka Cycling Club is located in the Masaka District approximately 3 hours drive South of the Ugandan Capital Kampala. The South of Uganda is a very poor region and sport in Masaka is quite suppressed in comparison to the opportunity that exists in Kampala and other East African Nations.
What is the Project aiming to do
This project is designed to be sustainable and simple to be part of, through community engagement. Supporters can contribute in small ways like a recurring monthly donations, or through bike and equipment donations. Its a call to action to help those who can do with a hand up. The backbone of the projects target the following areas;
- Annual membership to three key Associations/Bodies to ensure the Masaka Cycling Club is recognised as a sporting club and has access to the top road races in Uganda and Africa.
- Annual Lease of a Clubhouse in Masaka for riders to gather, train and recruit young male, female & disabled riders from the region.
- Establish the club with mechanical equipment so they are able to provide mechanical support to the region and generate a source of income for members and individuals.
- Purchase of a Team Kit (including shoes & helmets) for members to share, train and race in throughout Uganda and Africa.
- Purchase parts and supplies for maintenance for their Race Bikes which will be kept specifically for race day purposes.
- Provide ongoing travel, food & accommodation support for riders travelling to events to compete in the Masaka Cycling Club colours.
FUNDRAISING GOAL: $AUD20,000. 200 monthly donors is all it will take to make a massive impact on this community.
PERFORMANCE GOAL: The club is fortunate enough to already have three elite quality riders plus 40 other hard working club members with enormous potential. One rider is the 2016 Uganda National Champion. It is not unreasonable to expect this club could produce an Olympic or Commonwealth Games Cyclist one day with the right nurturing and care.
See what has been achieved already
The Hidden Athlete Project (Masaka Cycling Club - UGANDA)This clip is targeted at Cycling Fans the world over. We hope you take the time to watch, decide to act and free some of the most suppressed freak cycling talent in Africa so they can chase their dreams. Go to Instagram: @masakacyclingclub for a whole lot of crazy, project updates and share with all cycling fans the world over. This is a people funded project and anyone can get involved. Will you get involved? Please get involved.
To learn more or help out, head to the Hidden Athlete.
A big thanks to Bike Matters in Torquay, for hosting us, and for thanks to Ross for the invite and an amazing information night.
To participate in this project all you need to do is follow this link to thehiddenathlete.com.au/masaka-cycling-club. Here you will find information to join the project or follow and receive updates. Also head to the Hidden Athlete podcast Social Pages on Instagram @thehiddenathletepodcast and The Hidden Athlete Podcast Facebook page.
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