First National Bank has pumped in K80, 000 towards the hosting of the inaugural mountain biking race dubbed 1-Zambia MTB.
Cyclists from over 10 countries are expected to participate in the race.
FNB Head of Strategic Marketing and Communication Clotilda Mulenga said the event will expose over 50 key Zambian and South African businessmen to the beauty of the Zambian countryside and the various opportunities that the country offers.
Mulenga told ZANIS in an interview in Lusaka April 30th that FNB’s support for mountain biking in Zambia will make a huge impact since the FNB 1 Zambia MTB race endeavours to set the standard for world class multi-stage MTB racing in the country.
She noted that Zambia has a lot to offer and hoped that the event will help promote tourism and assist with the related revenue spin-offs that the event will bring to the local economy as more international riders are attracted to explore the beautiful country.
Mulenga said the event, which targets mountain bike enthusiasts with a taste for fresh adventure, is in line with the FNB’s mission for innovation and fresh thinking.
She said the financial institution has an ongoing strategy to support key events that are unique and have potential to grow.
The race, will which start from Lilayi Lodge and finish on the banks of the Zambezi River, will cover a distance of over 200 kilometres and will take place from May 1st to May 3rd, 2014.
And the Cyclist Association of Zambia has thanked FNB for being pioneers in supporting mountain biking in the country.
Association President Peter Chintu said mountain bike race is a good introduction to the cycling sport in the country as it offers a more safe way of cycling and can also be a channel to advertise the nation’s tourism sector.
Chintu stressed that his association will ensure that the sport is introduced in schools and communities.
He has since urged other corporate organisations to emulate FNB and sponsor the event and other minority sports in the country.
Meanwhile, 1-Zambia MTB team organiser Owen Green said the rave format is in line with international standards in adventure racing.
Green said riders will compete against each other in teams of two and also ensuring that they are riding together at all times to avoid any time penalties from the race officials.