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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

SAI takes under wing budding cyclist who lost job in pandemic

Riyaz used to fund his passion for cycling by working at an eatery, but this had been cut short by the pandemic earlier this year. He will now become a trainee under SAI.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: November 9, 2020 9:27:52 pm
CyclingPresident Ram Nath Kovind met Riyaz and gifted him a sports bicycle earlier this year. (Twitter/KirenRijiju)

Riyaz, a 16-year-old youngster whose passion for competitive cycling was jolted when he lost his job at a Ghaziabad eatery earlier this year, will soon become a trainee at the Cycling Federation of India (CFI) under Sports Authority of India (SAI).

Sports minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted on Monday: “I’m happy to share that Riyaz will be our SAI trainee very soon. Hon’ble President Ram Nath Kovind had encouraged this young boy by gifting him a cycle during Eid, and after Diwali, he will be training at India’s top cycling Velodrome in Delhi’s IG Stadium.”

Earlier this year, President Ram Nath Kovind had met Riyaz, a Class IX student, and gifted him a sports bicycle after a 14 July article in Hindi daily Dainik Jagran had reported that Riyaz had lost his job in the pandemic after the eatery where he used to work as a dishwasher closed down.

The report had detailed that Riyaz, who had won the silver medal in Delhi’s State Cycling Championship in 2018, used to fund his passion for cycling by working at the eatery, but that this had been cut short by the pandemic-induced lockdown. While some of his family members had returned to their ancestral home in Bihar during the lockdown, he had stayed on in Delhi in hope of finding another way to continue training.

“Supporting deserving talent is our endeavour,” said Sports Minister Rijiju sharing the news on Monday.

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