Saleem Iqbal Qadri

Sopore cyclist who has won over 35 medals yearns for a “Professional Road Bike”

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SOPORE, July 04: Manan Hassan Wani, 22, a young cyclist from Sopore has won over 35 medals in different cycle racing events, but his financial struggle has kept him from buying a “Professional Road Bike”, which cost lacs of rupees.

Born in 1998, Manan comes from a middle class family. He along with his family lives in a single story house in Sopore. Manan lost his father, who was a class fourth employee in horticulture department, to a kidney ailment a year ago and since then his mother has taken charge of the family.

Manan started his cycle racing career in 2010, when he was studying in 9th standard at Muslim Educational Trust (MET) Sopore, and participated in district level racing competition in collaboration with Amateur Cycle Association. “Our school bagged second position in the racing competition and I was awarded with a trophy and certificate.”

“It was a dream come true, when I won my first prize in cycle racing. Everyone, my parents, teachers and classmates, congratulated me on my success,” Manan Wani told Kashmir Images.

Manan managed to buy a secondhand racing cycle for fifty five thousand rupees after her mother sold her ornaments and some utensils.

“After winning the district level cycle racing competition, the then principal of my school (MET) was approached by members of Amateur Cycle Association who told him that they will provide all logistic support to me and will also guide me so that I can utilize my talent not only at national level but at international level also, but the school authorities put the decision in abeyance and I ended up losing once a lifetime opportunity,” said Manan adding that if the school authorities would have permitted me to start my training with ACA, my cycle racing career may have gone a long way.

Manan’s sister said that we are not financially sound so we cannot afford to buy a “Professional Road Bike” for my brother that costs lacs of rupees.

“I feel proud in being the sister of Manan Wani who has brought home 35 medals including 6 gold, 4 silver, 7 bronze; besides, winning many certificates at National and State level. Manan has inspired many others who also want to start their career in cycle racing,” Muffaiza Wani, Manan’s sister, told Kashmir Images.

“Due to the meager income of our family which comes from our father’s pension, we cannot buy a professional racing bike for Manan,” she added.

Manan wani has showcased his talent all across the country including Karnataka, Jammu, New Delhi, Punjab and other major cities of India and won medals, certificates and cash awards. Manan has participated in these events with an ordinary cycle which he bought on his own expenses.

“In 2016, I got admission at Degree College, Sopore where I was selected for a state wide cycle racing competition organized by University of Kashmir, and the college Principal told me if I managed to secure a Gold Medal in the said competition he will donate me a foreign made cycle. I fulfilled my promise and won a gold medal along with a trophy and two thousand rupees cash award. After some days I went to college and met the principal of my college, he didn’t fulfill his promise and said, “I will be not able to provide you a ‘Professional Road Bike’, which costs one lac seventy five thousands, as the college has a scarcity of funds but I will award you ten thousand rupees for the performance,” Manan told Kashmir Images.

“After I was ditched by the principal, I left Degree College Sopore and got admission in Government College Baramulla,” added Manan. “I won three bronze and one silver medal at University of Kashmir in 2017, at athletic meet event.”

Manan managed to buy a secondhand racing cycle for fifty five thousand rupees after her mother sold her ornaments and some utensils.

“My dream is to become the best cyclist in the world, but for achieving this feat I need a ‘Professional Road Bike’,” Manan said with teary eyes.


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