Team Africa Rising seeks to raise the level of professional cycling throughout the African continent. We cannot do it alone. We work with and promote partners who share our vision and commitment to the talented youth in the sport. We offer financial assistance, advice, access to sponsors, coaching, mechanical and technical support. We know we must raise the entire continent to achieve our goal of having Africans dominate the European professional cycling arena.
Uganda has never been an easy place to work. Long term corruption by the Ugandan Cycling Federation leadership exhausted even Paul Sherwen, who tried valiantly, before his death, to launch a reliable national team in his beloved home country. Recently, Team Africa Rising became aware of the work of Ross Burrage, who founded the Masaka Cycling Club in Southern Uganda. A portion of our proceeds from the Good Dirt Day of Giving will go to support this young team of talented cyclists. Hopefully, after the COVID19 lockdown, we will be able to help send a few of their most talented riders to the Africa Rising Cycling Center in Musanze, Rwanda. In the meantime, we will continue to promote and advocate on their behalf. Our motto is #teamisteam, and we live it through Africa.
We asked Ross to share a story of some of the cyclists of the Masaka Cycling Club. He shared with us the story of Bukenya, Kato, Waaswa, Richard, and Florence, all from one cycling family akin to the Debesay family from Eritrea! We will keep you up to date on our partnership with Masaka Cycling Club, and hopefully, once we get back to racing, you’ll see these names notching up the African tour results! To help support organizations like MCC, please donate HERE.
The Masaka Cycling Club is a Southern Ugandan Amateur Cycling Team based in one of the poorest regions of East Africa. At the heart of this club is an extremely talented cycling family. Bukenya, the head coach, is a highly respected Cycling identity in Uganda and the father of three Elite Cycling sons, one of whom is the 2016 Uganda National Road Champion and Masaka Cycling Club Men’s Captain. Bukenya is also the father of a teenage daughter called Florence. The younger sister of twin brothers Kato & Waaswa, both of which were already known as two of the better riders in Uganda and older sister to Richard, who is considered one of Uganda’s brightest young cycling talents.
Six months, ago Florence hadn’t ridden a bike. She watched on as her brothers trained daily and pursued their dreams. Florence’s life was centered solely on home duties, an East African Norm. Today….Florence’s world has become far more exciting. The Masaka Cycling Club prides itself on being Community Inclusive and aggressive in challenging Cultural Norms that suppress the vulnerable, women, and disabled. During the past six months, Florence was encouraged by her mother, father, and brothers to explore the world of Cycling and challenge what was traditionally expected of females in her community. Florence embraced the opportunity and recently participated in the very first all-female domestic bike race in Southern Uganda. Florence was one of four brave young women to participate in.
Today….Florence’s world has become far more exciting and includes several training sessions a week to develop her cycling skills. She now dreams of a future traveling with all her brothers to take on East Africa’s best women in Kenya, Rwanda & Tanzania. Florence is now a very proud and active member of the Masaka Cycling Club, wearing the club colors with pride any chance she gets. Without really knowing the significance of her bravery, Florence has become a pioneer for young women cyclists in this region. She now comfortably trains and moves within her community with freedom and confidence that encourages other young women to challenge those same Cultural Norms. The day Florence stands on a start line of a top tier race in East Africa will be a day celebrated forever in Southern Uganda.