Born in the capital city of Belmopan, Belize, Tariq Cano has had a passion for cycling since the tender age of 11. He said he became interested in this sport by challenging his dad’s cycling coach after he made the statement, “Anyone can jump on a bicycle and ride.” To his surprise it wasn’t so.
His determination took him to become one of the best all around junior cyclist of his time in Belize; winning his first race “Kings of the Hills Classic” at the age of 15. Since then Tariq has proudly represented Belize in Guatemala, Cuba, United States, Mexico, Nicaragua and plans to add Belgium and Costa Rica to his list.
Winning first place in the Boulevard Bahia circuit race Quintana Roo, first place in Calderitas Road Circuit Quintana Roo, accomplishing a Top 40 spot out of 148 riders in the Vuelta de Yucatan and being the first Belizean to race the Vuelta de Nicaragua, Tariq feels he is more than ready to represent Belize in Belgium, home of Cyclists and Cycling. Competing in Belgium is Cano’s next dream. He stated that Belgium holds races just about every day; he plans to participate in at least five of them when he makes it there.
Cano plans to depart Belize on May 27, but if he doesn’t have the sufficient funds he will push for a later date. This he told us as he arrived on Ambergris Caye this past weekend in search for sponsorship and spread the word of his goals to represent Belize. Apart from intense training, he has taken the time to travel to the different districts seeking financial assistance for the first time. All other races previous to Belgium have been at his cost.
Tariq formed a non-profit organization in 2015 called C.A.N.O (Committed to Altruism and Nurturing Oneself). The organization is geared to help individuals accomplish their goals towards a better way of life. His aspires to help younger athletes by pushing them to be better and have goals in life. Tariq’s dream is to take four other young cyclists with him to Belgium next year. He is hoping that by being the first Belizean cyclist to make it to the Belgium races, he can open doors for even more talented cyclists to reach higher levels in cycling world.
“Every cyclist’s dream is to ride in Europe, but most people are afraid to make the leap,” commented Tariq Cano to Ambergris Today. “No one wants to be the first to do it because with it comes many failures and many critics, most of which are not in your favor. Being the first Belizean to make it to Belgium is not my main objective; what matters is making the connection to Europe so Belizean cycling can make it to another level. My dream is to see a Belizean at the Tour de France. It might not be me but my plan is to see a Belizean make it in my life time!”
Cano said that to him cycling is like a drug, an addiction that once you start to feel the adrenaline it pushes you, it teaches you self discipline and builds a strong character. Most importantly it teaches you that one must fail several times before reaching success.
Tariq also has a certified in Customers Service and Back office processing. His unique sense of leadership and communication skills landed him on the 2013 Belize Apprentice TV s\Show, which showcased his capability to work on various levels. Following this success, he worked at the Belize Bank as a marketing officer for credit card and sales, thereafter as a floor manager at a call center, The Office Gurus.
Tariq is reaching out to the Belize business community countrywide for assistance. He would be very grateful for any type of sponsorship that would help him reach his goal to compete and represent Belize in Belgium. Tariq can be reached at +501-654-1689.
He would like to thank the following sponsors who have been of assistance to him recently:
2016: Atlantic International Bank, Belizean Dreams Resort, Coco Plum Island Resort, Wingz Stop and Muscle Hut.
2017: Muscle Hut, Wingz Stop and Dolphin productions.