Linda Helen Warren will this month lead the Zimbabwe Road and MTB National Cycling team at the 12th edition of the rebranded All African Games in Morocco. Linda made her debut at the Africa Games in Algeria 2007 becoming the first Zimbabwean female cyclist to represent the country in the road race discipline. She returns to duty this month as the Manager / Coach for the 2019 men’s and women’s elite teams.
Currently coaching Edinburgh University cycling team Linda won a total of 27 national titles in Triathlon and the cycling disciplines of Individual Time Trial, Road racing and Mountain biking. She is the second daughter of the late Brian Warren, President of both the Zimbabwe Judo Association and Africa Judo Federation and former Vice President of the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee. Her mother Patricia Warren retired as the highest black belt ranked judoka in the continent.
Linda has participated in 9 Africa Championships and 2 All Africa Games, and while her highest placing was a bronze medal for Zimbabwe she has brought home a further bronze medal, two silver and four Continental gold medals with her coaching input into the junior and elite women’s cycling teams since 2014.
“I am honored to be selected to manage and coach both the men’s and women’s cycling Team for the AAG” said an excited Linda Warren. “The team that I will be leading is full of experience, most of them I have either raced with, coached or managed before and all of them have the hearts of true champions”.
The story doesn’t end there. Part of the Road National Cycling team includes Linda’s daughter, Skye Janine Davidson, current elite Zimbabwe National Time Trial and Road Race Champion. Skye is a 3rd year student studying towards a masters in Astrophysics at Edinburgh University and also cycles for the University Cycling Team. This legacy of National representation is clearly what this energetic mother is most proud of. “I feel Dad watching his granddaughter as she rises through the international ranks”, said Warren, “I know he is proud of her and of the way we keep his candle burning alongside his beloved Zimbabwean flag”.
Also on the National team is Zimbabwe’s Nkust Dube, an athlete Linda has coached since 2015 and who now passes his knowledge on to the younger riders coming through, Advocate Phiri and Andrew Chikwaka who are also part of team Zimbabwe cycling at the African Games. Current MTB National Champion and gold medalist in Africa in 2018 Stacey Hyslop makes up the rest of the women’s team and will be assisting Skye with team tactics during the road race in Morocco.
Linda’s second daughter, Cami Davidson, is at Exeter University in the UK where she is the captain of the University Women’s Water Polo 1st Team. Cami won a bronze medal at the Zimbabwe National Time Trial Championship last month that saw her elder sister Skye winning gold. Craig Davidson, Linda’s last born child is currently studying at Hilton College in South Africa were he plays for the school A Teams in his age group.
Elder sister to Linda, Debbie Jeans , is a two time Olympian and double female African Judo Champion and married to Dr Austin Jeans who consults as team doctor for the Hong Kong rugby team and also sits on the IRB board.
“Going to the All African Games with Team Zimbabwe is a privilege that I don’t take lightly,” Warren continued, “My father instilled in me a level of professionalism, honor and conduct that I always upheld as an elite athlete and continue to embody as I lead into the coaching and administration side of my sport. Anyone who knew Brian still speaks of him with this level of respect and it is my duty to continue the legacy in Zimbabwean sport that he spent a lifetime laying down before me.”
This is one sporting family that has not only utilized a strong family connection but embraced and honored it across many different sports. This combination of discipline, hard work, patriotism and the will to win has seen this family succeed over the years. Their family bonds are tied to the most fundamental foundation of National sports representation and with this fighting spirit will endure through the generations to come.