07/17/2015 08:35 EDT | Updated 07/17/2016 05:59 EDT

Pan Am Games: Toronto cycling club donates $40K of equipment to Cuban athletes

A Toronto cycling club has organized a donation of $40,000 worth of equipment for aspiring cyclists in Cuba.

Former D'Ornellas Cycling Club president Lawrence Levin worked for months to make special arrangements in order to send back four boxes full of cycling gear with Cuba's Pan Am Cycling team.

"These are youth that are training to be at the Pan Am Games," Levin said. "They are training with tires that are beyond bald. It's almost hard to believe. You can almost see the tubes through the tires."

Cycling is a pricey sport, with bikes costing between $8,000 and $10,000 and helmets costing around $300.
Levin has also donated static rollers for the Cuban team in Toronto for the Pan Am Games to warm up before racing at Milton's Velodrome.

"I have to hope of course it doesn't give them an edge over the Canadian athletes, but we'll see what happens," he said.  

Levin says the team will also take those rollers back with them to Cuba.