THE CIMB Cycle will take place at the Sepang International Circuit this Saturday. Mohd Adam Wee Abdullah (pic), the group chief marketing officer of CIMB Group shares with StarSport the history of the event.
Q: What is CIMB’s strategy in deciding to sponsor cyclists Azizulhasni Awang and Fatehah Mustapa, and why not the entire team?
A: CIMB is the main sponsor of the CIMB Pro-Cycling Team with Azizul and Fatehah as anchor members. Other current member includes junior rider Muhammad Nur Aiman Rosli (19). The team train and compete under the stewardship of former Australian cyclist John Beasley. Established in 2017, the CIMB Pro-Cycling Team aim to not only develop the next cycling talent but also deliver Malaysia’s first gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
Q: Is there a particular reason for supporting track cycling?
A: We focus and lend our support mainly to selected athletes and not specifically to track cycling. Cycling is a highly popular and accessible sport with a few professional formats. It just so happens that we have a world champion and two Olympians in our track cycling team.
Q: How did the idea of starting CIMB Cycle come about?
A: Cycling has grown in popularity over the past several years both in Malaysia and internationally mainly because people from various segments can easily take up cycling – whether you are a junior, an enthusiast, or even a corporate figure, at whatever age.
It also brings enormous health benefits.
In fact, cycling has become the new sport of choice for young and seasoned professionals to network and keep fit together.
We wanted to create a social platform that would allow mass participation. so we started CIMB Cycle in 2017, with the hope that this annual event would not only attract cycling enthusiasts but also the opportunity to engage with the cycling community in Malaysia.
For CIMB, our brand representation and association with cycling also extends beyond CIMB Cycle, where we look to develop the sport in a holistic manner. We currently sponsor professional cyclists via the CIMB Pro-Cycling Team as well as develop a robust talent pipeline through CIMB Foundation’s sponsorship of young cyclists via the CIMB-JCM (Junior Cycling Malaysia) Junior Development Programme.
Q: What can participants expect from this year’s CIMB Cycle?
A: One key feedback on last year’s CIMB Cycle was that riders wanted a route that would challenge them both in distance and terrain.
The second edition of CIMB Cycle will feature increased route distances of up to 160km and 90km. It will feature flat coastal roads, nice rolling hills and riders starting and ending on the tarmac of the Sepang International Circuit.
Sepang definitely fits the bill with its Formula 1, MotoGP history and world-class facilities.
Q: What is CIMB doing to develop the sport amongst the youths?
A: We have been very supportive of young athletes through our junior development programmes under the CIMB Foundation. A case in point is our partnership with the JCM to nurture young talents in cycling, through the CIMB-JCM Junior Development Programme. The programme aims to develop and nurture potential champions from as young as seven to become elite cyclists.
Through the CIMB-JCM programme, we are trying to replicate our success in squash through our sponsorship and partnership with the Squash Racquets Association Malaysia (SRAM).
Sixteen of our supported squash players represented Malaysia at the recent SEA Games 2017, clinching six gold medals.
One of the gold medalists is Sivasangari Subramaniam who was named the PSA Women Young Player of the Year for 2017 and was crowned champion in the prestigious British Open Under-19 title, and the 2017 Malaysian Open singles title.
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