Tandem Cycling Team HETMAN is a non-government organization registered as a association in the Municipal Sports Clubs' Registry in Lublin under No. 113. It is a non-profit organization since 2008 registered in National Court Registry - KRS 0000302155.
The main goal of the organization is to promote sports among blind and visually impaired as an excellent form of rehabilitation and individual development.
The Team is promoting tandem cycling by organizing sports activities, tourism and sports events and also by ensuring participation of Team's members in national and international competitions.
The Team is a member of national organization Sports Association "OLIMP" in Warsaw, which currently federates tandem cyclists from all parts of Poland. Team's members are also participants of Sports and Tourism Association for Blind and Visually Impaired "CROSS" in Warsaw.
In accordance with the Statute the Tandem Cycling Team HETMAN as a sports club is represented by members of the board elected for 4 year periods. Currently the board is composed of:
Chairman Andrzej Góźdź
Deputy Chairman Piotr Ziółek
Secretary Aleksander Kmita
Treasurer Michał Ładniak
Member of the Board Mariusz Wołkowicz
Tandem cycling for blind and visually impaired is one of the most recently introduced sports disciplines. Tandem races have been organized in Europe since the 80-ties of the last century and the first serious competition at international level took place in 1984. It's worth mentioning that tandem racing has been an Olympic discipline since track cycling was included in the Olympic Games. In the 90-ties tandem racing was excluded from the Olympic Games as too risky for competitors, who often raced with speed reaching beyond equipment strength.
The first tandem road race for blind and visually impaired cyclists was held in 1988 during the Paralympic Games in Seul. Track tandem races were introduced not before Paralympics in Atlanta 1996, after equipment quality was improved.
The forerunner of tandem cycling in Poland was Ryszard Kożuch from Poznań. He has been and active tandem cyclist for over 20 years. At the beginning he participated mostly in races held abroad, as in Poland no one yet organized them.
The first Polish Championships in tandem racing were held in 1997 in Bieliny near Kielce with 19 tandem teams from Poland (including 3 teams from Lublin) competing against each other. After this the Sports Club of Blind and Visually Impaired HETMAN from Lublin set out a tandem cycling section. It were representatives of HETMAN Club - stoker Robert Boguszewski with pilot Michał Wit-Rusiecki, who won the First Polish Championships in Bieliny in both competitions mass start and individual pursuit. Tandem cycling section in HETMAN Club was at that time the largest section in Poland.
The Second Polish Championships were held in Jastków near Lublin, and HETMAN Club put up 8 teams to represent its tandem section. Robert Boguszewski and Michał Wit-Rusiecki, playing for another sports club from Lublin, were again winners of the competition. In the next three years this tandem team from Lublin won every race organized in Poland !
It was not before Polish Championships in 2000 held in Stryków near Łódź, when Boguszewski and his pilot gave in to another team form Lublin - stoker Andrzej Góźdź and pilot Piotr Sugier. Incidentally it was Piotr Sugier, who later on, in team with Boguszewski, won several races representing Olsztyn Club.
Cyclists from HETMAN Club made the strongest teams in Poland and since 1998 they represented tandem cycling in international competitions. HETMAN Club's Tandem Cycling Section run by Andrzeja Góźdź, as the chairman, had a very successful time. The Club's Tandem Section was attracting young cyclists, who were developing their sports interests during formal education and later on after finishing school.
Until 2005 there were 24 teams in HETMAN Club, including 4 female and mixed teams. In 2006 Tandem section transformed into a separate and independent sports club - Tandem Cycling Team HETMAN . In October 2006 r. the initiative group of cyclists held the first meeting of Tandem Cycling Team HETMAN and in November it was officially registered by the Mayor of Lublin as an independent sports club.
Today in Poland there are 13 tandem cycling sections and TCT HETMAN is one of three organizations dedicated only to tandem cycling. Our club supports tandem cycling in Lubelskie Region associating 40 members, who are actively practicing tandem cycling in both sports and leisure versions.
TCT HETMAN organizes not only regular trainings but also many sports events. We organize training camps, rallies in Poland and abroad, and also the traditional HETMAN Tandem Cup under the auspices of Marshal for Lubelskie Region.
The Race is the oldest multi-stage national event attracting each year 20 to 30 teams from Poland and abroad. Traditionally we are racing on Lubelskie Region's roads between the 30th of April and the 3rd of May.
In years 2000 - 2009 members of Tandem Cycling Section in HETMAN Club, and later on members of TCT HETMAN, were active co-organizers of international cycling event Eurotour Rally. Participants from different countries raced on bicycles on the routes from Brussels to Lublin in Poland (year 2002), from Leipzig to Athens (year 2003), from Bydgoszcz to Rome (year 2004), from Lublin to Crimea (year 2006) and on the rout Lviv-Romania-Moldavia-Kamieniec Podolski (year 2007).
During such rallies the participants can develop their cycling skills and have an opportunity to visit interesting historical places, find out more about local culture by meeting representatives of local authorities or local citizens.
In recent years due to financial problems organization of Eurotour Rally had to be withhold, but we hope the event will be continued in seasons to come.
Hard work during trainings and commitment of TCT HETMAN members led us to considerable successes at national level. In 2011 our two best teams won Polish Championships – stoker Iwona Podkościelna with pilot Aleksandra Wnuczek won 4 competitions in women category, stoker Marcin Polak with pilot Michał Ładosz four times in a row achieved gold medal podium in men category.
The Team organizes sports, rehabilitation or leisure events and trainings with support of volunteers and sponsors. Our activities are financed in vast part with grants awarded by the Ministry of Sports, local authorities and individual sponsors, who offer their financial and in-kind support.
Inviting to further cooperation we express our gratitude and appreciation to all sponsors and supporters.