* 4th edition sees addition of wheelchair and handcycle events and wider ability-friendly programme
The upcoming Ooredoo Ride of Champions will be the "most inclusive in the event’s history", the organisers have said.
The event will be held in Qatar Foundation’s Education City, Ceremonial Court. from 6.30am to 12.30pm on March 13.
The organisers, Qatar Cyclists, are aiming for 2,000 participants this year with over 1,000 spots already allocated, according to a press statement.
"The event has always welcomed cyclists of all ages and levels of experience - from beginners to experienced amateurs by creating a safe, well-structured and friendly environment for all participants," the statement notes.
In 2019, the event started to move beyond youths and adults by including young members of the IDD (intellectual and developmental disabilities) community working with Best Buddies Qatar.
Dr Abulazziz al-Kuwari, president of Qatar Cyclists, said: “In 2020, we strive to be even more inclusive. We have worked with our venue and community partner, Qatar Foundation’s Community Development team, and Accessible Qatar to add wheelchair and handcycle categories to the
event, as well as an ability-friendly wave open to all ages.
“The Qatar Cyclist Centre will continually strive to make its events, such as the Ooredoo Ride of Champions, rides for all!”
Hamad al-Jaaidi, co-managing director of the Ooredoo Ride of Champions, added: “The Ooredoo Ride of Champions is the biggest mass-participation cycling event in Qatar and the pinnacle of the community events organised by Qatar Cyclists, as it offers rides that suit all ages and experience levels, with ability-friendly categories added in 2020. We hope all members of Qatar’s communities come out and enjoy the day.”
Beyond the cycling on the day, activities for kids and youth will be available thanks to various event partners.
Ahmed al-Shahrani, the accomplished Qatari athlete competing in wheelchair division events and ambassador of Accessible Qatar, a Sasol initiative, added: “ I’m excited about this year’s Ride of Champions - it’s Qatar’s most inclusive event. No matter your physical ability, it has a category for you - from a 5.8km lap inside Education City where wheelchair users can use their everyday chair to longer routes up to 137km designed for cyclists and handcyclists.
"I love such events because they bring all walks of life in the community together. Can’t wait for #ROC2020; hope to see you there.”
To reflect this wider community involvement, the event will also be updating their event logo to better represent the full participating community.
Spaces are still available for this year’s event, with registration open at www.rocdoha.qa.
To learn more about the Ooredoo Ride of Champions, one can visit www.rocdoha.qa or follow @rocdoha on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
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