MALACCA: The tackling of wayward bicycle groups will be next on the cards for the Johor Cycling Association (JCA) after this week, reviving their halted junior development programme.
JCA secretary Anuar Noor Ali said the selection of 15 riders from a pool of 35 riders from all districts in the state forms the team for the Junior Cycling Malaysia (JCM) opening round in Sendayan, Negri Sembilan this weekend.
This marks a new beginning as the association moves to tackle long halted grassroots development programmes in the state.
"We used to have programmes for all age groups, but they had been halted for some years due to internal issues within the association," said Anuar.
"This is the first step, to bring forward new talents from all districts in the state."
Anuar said an open selection was done with the support of the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) and traffic police, where riders were selected for the elite, under-19, under-15 and women's categories to be contested at the opening round of JCM and the second leg of the series in Johor Baru next month.
The selected riders are Khairi Nordin, Alfonso Tan, Hafizul Asyraf Jaafar, Muhammad Faiq Fauzi Ridzuan, Estiqfaiq Eiszaham, Helmi Hariri Hishamuddin, Muhammad Nur Fitri Amar Rosli, Muhammad Aqil Amzar Rosli, Megat Imran Haikan Megat Abdul Halim, Mohamad Afiq Zharfan Abu Walfa, Chan Jian Le, Syazwan Amanie Asrul Afpendi, Azlan Shah Abd Bathuhu, Arif Wafy Ahmad Nazir, Putri Rabi'atul Nisa Rozaman and Noor Mastura Norman.
They will be coached by Abdul Abu Walfa Md Atar, while Batu Pahat's Abdul Ishak Deman has been appointed team manager.
Anuar said the project will be expanded to scout talents at the very base grassroots level, in view of issues faced by the sport following the Feb 18 tragedy in which eight teenagers were killed, said to be from a group racing illegally.
This, he said, will also complement the state high performance training unit (USPTN) based in Muar.