Coaching cycling in Namibia as part of the IDEALS programme


IDEALS Professional is a UK Sport Programme offering sport development practitioners a chance to broaden their experience and increase global awareness while helping international partners to develop quality sport and enrich lives.

British Cycling is involved with the delivery of the programme and has collaborated with Liverpool John Moore’s University (LJMU) since 2013 to work towards the project aims. Most recently, Go-Ride Coach and former LJMU student, Joe Malik, spent time in Namibia over the summer to deliver cycle coaching.

On top of Joe’s trip additional British Cycling staff have been involved with the programme, making enriching visits to share expertise and promote development.

Paul West, an expert in event organisation, travelled to Windhoek, Namibia, to support the Namibian National Federation. Scott Bugden, British Cycling Tutor and Level 3 Coach visited Maputo in Mozambique to run a series of workshops to support their Federation and riders.

Paul’s report from Windhoek, Namibia
“The sport in Namibia is run by enthusiastic volunteers with big aspirations. My role was to help focus that enthusiasm and I did this by advising on how to manage events infrastructure, resources and income streams with the aim of developing a sustainable sport using regionalised programmes to widen its reach.

“There are plenty of people wanting to race but a lack of trained officials. I ran workshops on how to run a quality bike race, including what the roles of commisaires and officials are. A legacy of this is that we have been asked to support a commisaires training programme for the Federation. I also attended a mountain bike race and advised that by using support races using a Go-Ride Race format, events could also have more contained elements. Having such events would help encourage local communities to get involved in the sport.”

Scott’s report from Maputo, Mozambique
“The Mozambique Cycling Federation was formed in 2011, staffed by a small group of volunteers with great ideas and ambitions. In Maputo it is not easy to be a cyclist, with riders having to train at 5am to avoid the worst of the heat and traffic.

“Although there is one mass participation event which attracts 550 riders, most have to travel to Swaziland or South Africa to race. In the north of the country, there are events where riders race over 40-50 miles on single speed bikes.

“My main role was to scope out the sport and support the Federation in any way that I could. I delivered skills sessions on mountain bikes which were really well received, with riders soaking up information like sponges. The federation is also looking to acquire land from the government to build a BMX track for the benefit of the wider community”.

Reflecting on the progress of this UK Sport programme, British Cycling’s Director of Coaching, Education and Development, John Mills, said:

“Embarking on an exercise such as this can be quite daunting due to the enormous scope of the project. Since 2013 however, we have forged strong bonds with our international partners and witnessed powerful examples of how cycling can change lives – not only for communities in Namibia and Mozambique, but also for those practitioners from British Cycling and Liverpool John Moores University who have worked to develop the sport they are so passionate about.

“British Cycling is delighted to be involved in the IDEALS Programme; sharing the great work we see at clubs, coaching sessions and events across the country with our international counterparts to play our part in a legacy that will enrich lives and instigate change.”

We will bring you further updates on British Cycling’s involvement with the IDEALS Professional programme as the project evolves, with the potential for there to be some really exciting developments from these initial visits and the work done behind the scenes.