LAHORE - Punjab Cycling Association (PCA) president Moazzam Khan Wednesday said that Punjab cycling academy would start functioning here in October to hunt fresh cycling talent and its grooming under a long-term planning.

“We are finalizing all the necessary modalities to launch the academy on modern lines to provide a platform to the youth to polish their skills helping them to become quality cyclists in due course of time,” he said.  He said the academy would be established at cycling velodrome near Gaddafi Stadium and young boys and girls belonging to different educational institutions would be selected to attend it.

The PCA chief said 25 boys and similar number of girls would be invited to attend the academy in separate training sessions. “There will be no mix training session and our experienced national coaches will be imparting specialized training to the budding riders,” added Moazzam.

, who himself a former international cyclist and represented the country for six years from 1983-89, winning silver in Tour de Dubai in 1988 besides getting notable position in Iran cycling race in 1986.

He said it would be the first ever cycling academy to be set up as in the past, no sincere efforts were seen in establishing it which resulted in the overall decline of the game. He said national coaches including M Shakeel, Nazakat Ali and M Babar would be assigned different roles to teach finer points of the game to the aspiring cycling.

Moazzam said only those cyclists would be retained in the academy who had the passion to take up cycling as a sport in future. “We will soon be conducting the meeting of our general body in which the span of different cycling races will be extended to all parts of the province.”

The PCA president said he was extending financial assistance to hold a number of cycling events to contribute in a national cause as he owed a lot to cycling. He said the PCA was the genuine cycling body which was affiliated with Pakistan Cycling Federation (PCF) headed by Munawar Hussain and recognised by World and Asian Cycling Bodies. “The existence of a parallel cycling federation as well as provincial cycling bodies has damaged the cause of cycling in the country. We want to keep cycling controversy free and that is why we are taking every measure to ensure the participation of our team's in international events abroad and recently our team participated in the Asian Championship in India,” he concluded.