Jordan ‘Schleck’ Ssekanwaji, a son of a former Ugandan champion David Matovu nearly gave up cycling due to sport’s under-development in Uganda.
A teenager who had made a name in beating the elite cyclists locally with a bamboo bicycle made by his father, narrates how they spent three years without an operational cycling calendar in the country.
“I had cycling as my dream and whenever I could wake up and hear about the Kenyan turned English cyclist Chris Froomemy my inner man could tell me that I can also make it but in reality, I could not see any break through due to poor administration. Uganda Cycling Association had no calendar and races could be fixed at will,” said Ssekanwaji.
Then, ambitious Ssekanwaji tried to push for better cycling environment out side the country. He landed on a Belgium based team Cannibal Cycling Club’s website which he contacted and shared his cycling videos. Team Cannibal liked the exceptional talent of a young boy and started sending him training and competition Kits.
In 2016, team Cannibal showed interest in taking the teenager to Belgium after continuous impressive performance but Uganda Cycling Association turned down his dream by refusing to give him a recommendation letter hence he was denied a visa.
Ssekanwaji whose ambitions were all vested in cycling says that he lost hope thinking that his chances were done but later last year, a call from his uncle Patrick Sooma who lives in Nairobi turned every thing around.
“ My uncle who stays in Nairobi called me in August 2018 asking me to join him and help him in some domestic work in Nairobi but since I know about the cycling history of Kenya, I could not hesitate.I went and I asked him to connect me to cycling clubs and here I am”, the 17-year old stated.
Ssekanwaji is now a member of Safari Simbaz Cycling Club in Nairobi and has had a super exceptional performance this year which saw him sweep a number of races in his category as an under 21 junior rider.
He also extended his strides to win overall elite races with his club given brand new Swift Cadbon U-voxrs bicycle.
He finished second in the Elite Mt Kilimanjaro Mountain Bike race held in April, won the Sokoke Mountain Bike race U21 category in May,the farmers choice road race U21 category in June, Kari Mountain bike race elite category in July,
He also won the Gutundu grind road race elite category September,independence day road race elite category in October, Grand Nairobi road race elite category in December,Amboseli Mountain bike race elite category in December before winning the U21 tour de Machakos the final event on Kenya’s Cycling calendar that was held in this same month.
He is also still in contact with team cannibal and is hopeful for a possible trip to join the European team in 2021 if all goes well.
As a true sportsman, Ssekanwaji connected Lubega Abdul Noor another promising Ugandan teenager to the same club Safari Simbaz.
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