25/07/2011 - Cycling Southland held its Annual General Meeting this week. It provided a rare opportunity to pause and reflect on the last 15 months’ work. Each and every week I am continually blown away by the support this organization receives from such a passionate group of people and each week I am captivated by the opportunity which exists for the sport and for Cycling Southland. For the purposes of an annual report we calculate the number of volunteer hours which go into the sport – we just stopped counting when the number got above 50,000. The past year has been a transitional one with my arrival and the on-going implementation of this new structure. To trade our way to a small cash operating surplus was satisfying in a year of such great change and it points to the great things we have ahead of us.
The sheer volume of work delivered by this organization is staggering. In the last 15 month period we have hosted New Zealand’s premier elite and junior road tours, two National Track Championships, three track carnivals, an incredible corporate event and a full programme of junior and senior road and track racing. And it’s not going to stop anytime soon. Over the next 13 months we will host National, Oceania and World Track Championships along with the Yunca and PowerNet Tours as well as assisting the Wakatipu Club with the Oceania Road Championships in March. I can’t think of another club, anywhere in the world, that would have all of that on its plate. Can you?
Significant progress has been made at a development level which is something I’m most proud of. We now have a Learn to Ride fundamentals programme which has been successfully piloted in seven Southland schools with outstanding results. We have cycling accredited with NZQA for NCEA performance standards and we have increased the number the children entering our Wheelers introductory programmes four-fold. The exciting part is that we are just getting started.
The AGM also saw the end of Steve Canny’s seven and a half year stint as President. His contribution cannot be over-stated. It was Steve’s voice on my answer-phone a couple of Christmas Eves ago which changed my life and got me into this game. I have had the treat of working alongside him closely over the last few weeks as we presented to the Ministry of Economic Development in Wellington and worked with SPARC on our hosting of the 2012 Junior Worlds. Watching him at work is a sight to behold and I have now seen first-hand the skills he and his mates employed to get the ILT Velodrome built. I’ll be making sure his many skills are not lost to our organization. I am also absolutely delighted Tony Ineson will fill the shoes of another legend, Sonny Broad, as our new Patron. But ultimately it is the Cycling Southland member, to whom I offer most thanks.
And together we’ve all got some ride ahead of us.