By FELIX KATYETYE
The annual Eastern Province Choova cycling competition has won Government support to promote road safety education and encourage healthy habits.
Provincial Assistant Secretary Clement Chilembo, representing Eastern Province Minister Peter Phiri, said the province relied heavily on bicycles and motorbikes as a primary mode of transportation, making the Choova cycling competition a vital platform for practical road safety education.
“Choova remains a practical platform for road users, including vehicles, motorbikes, bicycles, and pedestrians, to learn coexistence and practice road safety measures,” Phiri said.
Given the importance of the cycling competition now in its 18th year, the Ministry of Youths, Sports and Child has officially incorporated it into the sports calendar. Phiri encouraged youths, women, and men to participate in various sports and empowerment programmes aimed at fostering a healthy lifestyle and deterring substance abuse. He further urged the youth to follow the example set by the Shepolopolo, who had achieved international recognition in football. “Through cycling, you can also compete in world cycling competitions,” he asserted.
Chipata Mayor George Mwanza emphasized the importance of maintaining good health through sports participation and encouraged fellow citizens to engage in the upcoming Choova competition. Mwanza committed to securing more sponsors to enhance the growth of the competition and ultimately promote community unity.
Notably, the 2023 Choova cycling competition saw Biggie Zimba emerge as the 2023 champion, winning a motorbike and a mattress. Zimba expressed gratitude towards the organizing committee, sponsors, and fellow committee members for their unwavering support. He encouraged fellow participants to continue training hard, as the sports event continued to evolve each year. Betham Daka secured the first prize in the differently abled category and commended the organizing committee for their consistent inclusion of disabled individuals. He said sports activities played a crucial role in maintaining the well-being of differently abled individuals. Petronella Mwale came out tops in the women’s category at this year’s Choova cycling competition and urged other women to participate in the forthcoming competition as it was refreshing and good for their health.
This 2023 Choova cycling competition was held under the theme Cycling to Promote our Culture, Tourism, and Enhanced Road Safety, reflecting the multifaceted benefits of the competition beyond mere athleticism.