The Football Federation of Belize announced earlier this month that the national team would not be competing in the Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico, because the facilities for that sport were unsuitable for the matches. But the rest of the games will go on and today a contingent of Belizean cyclists headed to Mayaguez to take part in races from July nineteenth to the twenty-ninth. The cycling team is being led by national coach, Perry Gibson, who told News Five before they boarded their flight that he’s confident that the riders won’t return empty handed.

Perry Gibson, National Coach, Belize Cycling Team

Perry Gibson

“We have a contingent of five; one female, Shalini Zabaneh; four males, Byron Pope, Jairo Campos, Brandon Cattouse and Gregory Lovell.”

Delahnie Bain

“And in what areas will they be competing?”

Perry Gibson

“The individual time trial and the road race.”

Delahnie Bain

“How long have you been preparing for this event?”

Perry Gibson

“Actually, we were recently at the Central American Games in Panama and the preparation that we used for that was right after the Cross Country. Everybody was preparing for the Cross Country and then after that we just basically worked towards the Central American Games and now the Central American and Caribbean.”

Delahnie Bain

“So it’s a constant preparation.”

Perry Gibson

“It has been a constant preparation.”

Delahnie Bain

“I know some of the riders did well, they medaled—maybe not gold but they did well. Do you expect the same or better?”

Perry Gibson

“The competition at the Central American and Caribbean Games is a bit higher. However, I believe that we have done quite a bit of intense training. So it is not a first for Belize to be able to medal at the Central American and Caribbean Games. They’ve done it before so I believe that with a bit of luck and the guys being able to put forward a hundred percent, we could medal.”

Delahnie Bain

“So you’re confident going in.”

Perry Gibson

“Yeah I think we could get a medal, definitely.”

Gibson’s team is not the only group of cyclists racing internationally. A contingent of six will travel to Canada for the \Tour de l’Abitibi/Coupe from July twentieth to the twenty-fifth and another set of six will head to Guatemala for the Junior Tour of Guatemala from July twenty-second to the twenty-fifth.

Channel 5