Story by Yves Irakoze
Adelphine Nimfasha was born at Gihanga Commune, Burundi, on February, 15th, 2002. She is the 8th of 9 children. She goes to school, and she is in 9th grade. She will have to do a national test to go to high school next year. She started to ride when she was only six. The area in which she lives is known for its abundance of rice plantations. She used, as many of her community, to carry sacks of rice on the family bike during harvests period. When she was 10, that is when her abilities were detected by her coach Felix Ndikumana, who took her and started to train her. Felix used to teach her with other kids of their community, and she was able to show desire and boldness in that sports despite family conditions she grew up in (a poor family that only has a small plot of land where they grow rice on the family property).
Her primary goal is to be a professional rider. She is the 1st Burundian women in cycling now. She has already traveled to Egypt and South Africa for the training and a little bit of competition. Her current desire is to find a kind of an academic or training center where she could increase her performance and get to be a professional cyclist in the future. The primary goal is to be the champion in Africa, and in the world. She wants to carry the Burundi flag everywhere she goes in competition and in the future, to be the world champion as well as helping her community to develop the cycling sport professionally, as many of her community members do not consider to be professionals despite their talents.
The main obstacles for her dreams are mostly due to how young she is and her inexperience and inability to get the training and racing she needs. She wants to grow; she needs a good education, she has to be healthy and needs to have good nutrition for her to be able to perform. Another obstacle is related to the environment she is growing up in. Riding is not seen as a valuable career in Burundi despite the potential in her. The lack of material is also an issue. She now has a bike that was donated which is a good thing, but there are some other needs like a helmet, first aid treatment kit, things her parents cannot afford to give her.
Another obstacle is the extortion and corruption in the Burundi Cycling Federation. As a Christian, she has never accepted to give any bribe to the officials in cycling. As a punishment, she is no longer called to participate in any official competition via the Burundi Federation. We all know how important the races are for anyone that is passionate and fully willing to go forth. She needs possibilities and facilities to reach the level she would like to attend too.
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