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EX-GAMBIAN CYCLING CHAMPION TAAL LEADS REVIVAL IN GAMBIA

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By Lamin Sam Jaiteh, London

In an effort to revitalise cycling in The Gambia, former national champion Ibra Taal, has stepped in and is spearheading fundraising campaigns through a series of cycling events at home and abroad.

Taal shared his ambitious goal of raising £5,000 (D430,000) by the end of 2024, to assist The Gambia Cycling Association to procure essential equipment as well as reinvigorate cycling programs nationwide.

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“I’ve always believed in giving back to the sport that has shaped my life.Cycling holds the potential to bring communities together, promote healthy living and provide avenues for young talents. My aim is to ensure that every aspiring cyclist in The Gambia has the resources, for success,” Taal told The Standard.

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The seasoned cyclist detailed his approach, which involves participating in three cycling events within the upcoming year.

His journey kicks off with the famous RideLondon event covering 100 miles on 26 May, 2024, followed by the demanding London to Brighton Ride (55 miles) slated for 15 September.

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Taal’s hard work will reach its peak at the Tour of Banjul Ride on 22 February, 2025 – a local event he helped set up in The Gambia.

“I am truly dedicated to this cause. Each event not only helps in raising funds, but also highlights the skills and potential of Gambian cyclists on a global platform,” he said.

The money collected from all these events will be used to buy cycling gear like bikes, helmets tools for maintenance and setting up training programmes for young cyclists throughout The Gambia.

“This project is more than financial assistance; it aims to promote a cycling culture within our communities because by providing access to equipment and training we can inspire a new generation of cyclists to chase their aspirations and represent The Gambia worldwide,” he noted.

Taal called for support from Gambians and cycling enthusiasts globally through donations and spreading awareness.  In response, a top Gambian financial institution Yayeh Money Transfer contributed £1000 towards the cause to set the ball rolling for others to join to reach his goal.

“Every donation counts, no matter how small Together we can ride towards a future, for Gambian cycling,” he said.

As the clock ticks down to Taal’s fundraising event in London, the cycling community in The Gambia is rallying together to back their champion’s admirable mission.

Fueled by determination and with wheels spinning beneath him, Ibra Taal is committed to push for a dynamic cycling culture in his homeland.

Keep track of Taal’s progress and find out how you can show your support by visiting www.facebook.com/pedalforward.

For the updates, on this story and other sports news be sure to stay connected with The Standard.

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