Zimbabwean female cyclist Stacey Hyslop (pictured) enhanced her growing status as one of the country’s brightest prospects in the sport after being signed by North Carolina-based Lees-McRae College in the United States. BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Lees-McRae College, which has over 60 student cyclists and a devoted cycling advisory council, is home to the 10-time US national championship cycling team.
Tim Hall, the director and head coach of cycling at Lees-McRae College, said Hyslop was a great addition to their programme, which provides students the opportunity to enhance their chosen field of study while also gaining knowledge in the art and science of the cycling industry.
“Stacey is a wonderful addition to our mountain bike and road team here at Lees-McRae,” Hall said in a statement on the college’s official website.
“She has several outstanding accomplishments in Zimbabwe and throughout Africa, as well as gained international experience at junior worlds,” praised Hall.
“We believe she can make an immediate impact on our A team and help take our programme to the next level.”
Hyslop, who intends on majoring in biology and health sciences, thanked Lees-McRae College for giving her the opportunity, while also acknowledging the support from her coach Linda Davidson and Rebecca Zeigler Mano, the Education USA country co-ordinator.
“So excited about what next year holds,” she said in a post on her Facebook page.
“Thank you Timothy Hall for this great opportunity. Couldn’t have done this without Rebecca Zeigler Mano and my amazing coach, Linda Davidson! Time to begin my next chapter,” she said.
In May, Hyslop won a silver medal in her first ever international mountain bike event at the Africa Continental Mountain Bike Championships held in Musanze, Rwanda, finishing behind compatriot Skye Davidson.
The former Peterhouse Girls student also represented Zimbabwe at the 2015 UCI Junior World Mountain Bike Championship held in Andorra, Spain, three months ago, finishing third in both the road and mountain bike National Championship.
“Stacey is taking a big leap of faith by coming to the US to fulfil her dreams, and we are honoured to have the opportunity to help her on and off the bike here in Banner Elk,” Hall said.
“This signing should encourage other international cyclists to consider collegiate cycling in America, especially women,” he said.
“It is obviously a tremendous emotional and financial hardship on one’s family, but it is also a hugely rewarding experience for the athlete.”