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Galen University and the 91st (2019) Annual Cross Country

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2019. 6:28 pm CST.

views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.

By Dorian Barrow: The last time I wrote a piece on cycling in Belize was fifteen years ago, when I celebrated Kenrick Halliday as one of the greatest who has ever rode the Cross Country Classic.  That piece was special for another reason in that I managed to get Ariel Rosado, then a law student at the University of Guyana to proof and edit the script for me.  Ariel, of course, was at the time an up-and-coming cyclist with tremendous potential, who was taken from us to be with the God of might, wisdom and justice on May 14th, 2011.  Fifteen years later I am at it again, this time from Galen University in Cayo, the home of the Soaring Eagles.

Galen University is not only a prestigious private university promoting academic excellence, lifelong learning and sustainable development through experiential learning and its cutting edge programs, but is also a very student focused institution in that we try to help students develop holistically, i.e. not only just academically, but also through sports. Our female and male students through our sports scholarship programs compete in basketball, volleyball, the La Routa Maya canoe race and football, and also through the cycling discipline.  This year we acknowledge two of our sport scholarship winners who are cyclists – Carroll Devin Azueta and Zahir Figueroa. I had a sit down with them to talk about the 2019 annual cross country cycling classic and what they hope to achieve.

Both cyclists, Zahir and Carroll are from Cayo, the former from San Ignacio and the latter Santa Elena.  Over the years Cayo has produced some excellent riders, for example the Choto brothers more recently, and for those who have been following this sport as long as I have we remember the “Esperanza Tank” better known as Anthony Hutchison.  I remember Kenrick Haliday telling me that there were only two (2) cyclists during his tenure that kept him up at night and they were Alfred Parks and Anthony Hutchison.

It may very well be that Zahir and Carroll’s time has come!  We wholeheartedly look forward to a win this year and that they continue to shine.  I know they will be making the Galen Family proud.  They both started to do serious riding about the same time – Zahir (2011) and Carroll (2012) – and have both ridden at least three (3) cross country races, remembering that you have to be 17 years or older to be legally eligible to ride that classic.

For these races Zahir and Carroll are both well sponsored as they both ride for big name cycling teams.  Carroll rides domestique for the Giovani Choto’s team and Zahir for the Smart Cycling team.  The Galen University sports scholarship allows them to ride and study or, as they say, ‘study while they ride’.  So on Holy Saturday, lookout for the Galen University logo (A Soaring Eagle) on the shoulders of these two young athletes and don’t be too surprise if one of them brings home the Garland for Belize for a second year in a row!

Dr. Dorian Barrow is currently working at Galen University as the Dean of the Department of Education. He has a long history of involvement in education in Belize, having served as a Lecturer at the University of Belize, and as Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Education.  Dr. Barrow is an eminent professional who is well respected both locally and abroad. He is serving as an editorial member and reviewer of several international reputed journals and has authored many research articles/books related to education. Apart from education, he is also a sports enthusiast.


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