‘Jude Bentley MoU’ drafted for cyclists to use National Park for training
By Avenash Ramzan
A Memorandum of Understanding, in honour and memory of the late Jude Bentley, has been drafted to allow for the country’s cyclists to utilise the inner circuit of the National Park for training in the evenings.
The National Sports Commission, the National Parks Commission and the Guyana Cycling Federation are signatories to the MoU.
On Friday afternoon, a week after one of the country’s leading cyclists Jude Bentley was struck down while training on the public road, Director of Sport Christopher Jones and Guyana Cycling Federation President Linden Dowridge divulged details of the MoU, which essentially is aimed at creating a safe space for riders to train.
“Essentially it speaks to allowing the cyclists access to the circuit after peak hours. It speaks about us- that is the Cycling Federation and the National Sports Commission- providing sufficient signage around the entire circuit, which will alert all and sundry as to the timing when the cyclists would take to the circuit,” Jones explained.
“We want to ensure in his memory, in his honour that the MoU that is going to be signed between the three parties is essentially the Jude Bentley MoU,” Jones added.
The ultimate aim, Jones related, is to ensure a situation such as the one that caused Bentley’s death on February 8 on the Rupert Craig Highway is not repeated.
The National Park already has the infrastructure to accommodate training in the nights with solar lights erected around the inner circuit.
Dowridge welcomed the move to have cyclists access the Park, as it something they have been clamouring for, he said.
This new arrangement would give the riders access to the venue from 18:00h to 21:00h. Dowridge spoke of the benefits of such a development.
“One, safety. The culture on the road is different these days; there are more vehicles on the road. And of course now with this unfortunate incident with Jude, we have to seal the deal now. Two, most of our guys are working so what you find is their recovery time is poor, so they can’t recover enough from their day’s workout plus go to work, so they really can’t improve their level,” Dowridge stated.
“With this arrangement, we could get our athletes to sleep a little longer, go to their professional duties and come and ride in the afternoon, as well as we would be able to grow the sport.”