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There are many different programmes that offer you the opportunity to ride on the Velodrome, ranging from the experienced cyclist through to a novice cyclist. Please contact the Cycling Southland office to discuss what opportunities are available and which programme would be most suited to you.
Qualified Cycling Southland personnel are available on request to assist new groups of riders wishing to become part of the cycling scene at the Velodrome.
Some of the programmes available for "beginners" are as follows:
Wednesday & Friday Wheelers
This introductory programme targets 10 - 15 year old children who wish to try track cycling. This is conducted under the watchful eye of experienced cycling facilitators and the beginners session is held between 4-5pm each Wednesday and Friday afternoon apart from the school holidays. This is followed by an intermediate Flyers session from 5-6pm each Wednesday and Friday afternoon and beginners who have gained the skill and confidence to progress to this session will be advised by the coaches. Please phone the office to register your child's interest on 219 9325 and also the cost of session.
Track Start/Drafters is available to adults wishing to have a go on the Velodrome and continuing to build confidence. This is an introductory-entry level programme conducted by experienced cycling personnel and teaches the basic skills of track cycling. This session is held every Wednesday from 6.00pm to 7.00pm. Please phone the office to make sure the session running and for the cost.
School groups are most welcome to come and visit and experience New Zealand's only indoor cycling Velodrome. With its guaranteed all weather capability, the Velodrome offers an ideal means of physical education for school groups, on either a casual or long term basis. Cycling Southland certainly has the facility, the equipment and the experienced and enthusiastic staff, to make your visit safe, enjoyable and fun.
For the more experienced cyclists, below is a list of the sessions that, as a member of Cycling Southland, you are most welcome to attend. Please see below for a schedule of these sessions.
- Lunch Roll - Tuesday & Friday 12-1pm
- Presidents Convoy - Mondays 6-7pm (Intermediate Session)
- Drafters - Tuesdays 6-7pm (Adult Skill session fully coached)
- Track Start - Wednesdays 6-7pm (Adult beginners session fully coached)
A simple but very effective means of exercise is transforming the lives of many Southlanders who may have thought their days of exercising were a thing of the past.
The CycloFit programme at the Velodrome in Invercargill has provided an inspirational opportunity to the participants and many outstanding benefits have been achieved.
Perceived barriers to riding a bike have been broken down by the CycloFit programme and the indoor facility provides a safe and controlled environment for people of all ages and abilities, to rediscover the joys of riding a bike. With no hills, no adverse weather and no traffic issues to worry about, the programme is very popular.
For many of the "more senior" participants, regular exercise on foot was becoming a increasing burden on aging joints and muscles but cycling is becoming increasingly recognised as a low impact form of exercise that is relatively easily achieved. Many of the CycloFit participants are back riding a bike after a "lengthy absence" and enjoying the experience.
Cycling Southland launched the CycloFit initiative at the Velodrome two years ago and from its modest beginnings, the programme is now delivered five times a week to satisfy the increasing demand. Twenty five mountain bikes plus three adult trikes have been purchased and on many occasions, the sessions are fully subscribed. The CycloFit programme's reputation has spread by word of mouth and the benefits and enjoyment of the participants is plain to see. Trained Cycling Southland personnel oversee the programme and offer advice and assistance whenever required.
Cycling Southland Events Manager, Bruce Ross said that the programme, which was introduced as a trial, has exceeded all expectations and continues to go from strength to strength. "We felt as a responsible sporting organisation, that we had a role to play in promoting cycling as both a form of exercise and ultimately, as a form of transport. Cycling Southland also believed it could play an integral role in assisting with the objectives of the National Walking and Cycling Strategy, Getting There - On Foot, By Cycle. Plans are now being made to take competent groups of CycloFit participants onto the roads and now that their basic confidence has returned, this new challenge will be easily achieved. These groups will be given appropriate training and advice and will be accompanied by qualified personnel.
The CycloFit programme also dovetails nicely into the SPARC Green Prescription programme. Many of the current participants have been referred to CycloFit via local GP's or via the regional sports trust, Sport Southland.
Benefits to the programme are now becoming clearly evident with improvements to general health and wellbeing regularly experienced. Weight loss, reductions in high blood pressure and anxiety levels plus increased cardio-vascular activity have participants feeling good about themselves and realising that their days of exercising are far from over. With the "most senior" of the group having just turned 84, an example is being set to others in the community that age is no barrier to exercising. The adult trikes are available for people with balance issues, such as post-stroke conditions and varying other forms of impairments.
Participants are actively spreading the word about the worth of the CycloFit programme and with each session costing only $4 (which includes the hire of the bike), they recognise that it is money well spent and look forward to the next session with the accompanying camaraderie that has developed amongst the group.
As one sprightly 78-year-old lady said recently, "the $5 cost is a great investment in my future. I have thrown away several of my daily tablets on doctors advice and feel heaps better about myself". Think of the savings to the national health spend if more people had this attitude.
Bruce said that there is no copyright on the CycloFit programme and other areas of New Zealand are encouraged to set up similar programmes. You do not need to have an indoor cycling Velodrome but unused factories or depots may be available and could be easily adapted for this purpose.
Anyone wishing to find out more about the programme is welcome to contact Cycling Southland on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 03 219 9325
* Please feel free to contact Cycling Southland on to find out more about any of the above opportunities.