The achievements of Southland’s cycling fraternity and its members continued to receive accolades on Friday night at the 2014 Cycling Southland annual prizegiving awards.
The continued celebration of achievements follows on the recent successes of Cycling Southland being named the BikeNZ Road and Track Club of the Year at the annual AGM in Cambridge, along with World Masters Champion Erin Criglington being presented the Shona Hewlett trophy for raising the profile of women’s cycling and Eddie Dawkins being named Face of Cycling. The following week Dawkins was named the ILT Sports Awards Senior Sportsperson of the Year and Jeremy Presbury was named Junior Sportsperson of the Year.
Cycling Southland acting general manager Walter Lettink said it was certainly a season for awards in recent weeks and it was timely to recognise the huge contribution of the invaluable team of volunteers, officials and members of all ages and abilities who helped to keep the wheels turning and ensure the organisation was such an ongoing success year after year.
For its contribution awards, the Peter Grandiek Cup for contribution to masters cycling was presented to a quiet, behind-the scenes coach and club contributor Ian Densie, who has been instrumental in the coaching and support of the centre’s extremely strong masters riders, in particular the women’s masters in the lead up to this year’s successful Track Nationals campaign.
Waine Harding and his tireless volunteer efforts with both road and track cycling was again recognised when he took out the Tony Ineson Cup for contribution to senior cycling for his unwavering commitment to all things cycling, including coaching the Masters Men in build to Track Nationals, as well as convening, managing, overseeing, planning and co-ordinating all things cycling both on and off the road.
The Laurie Tall Cup for contribution to junior cycling was another strongly contested category with endless commitment to the junior division as its convenor giving Alan Strong the award. Strong puts in countless hours planning, overseeing and helping out junior riders with every opportunity they can have, including away tour planning, fundraising projects, racing series both on the track and the road and ongoing programme planning.
The Senior Newcomers Award went to Kirstie James whose recent conversion to cycling from rowing has advanced dramatically since her move to Invercargill a little over a year and a half ago. James rapid rise in the Elite women’s track and road ranks was meteoric and the result of a lot of hard graft and commitment, which saw her medal at the track nationals and then getting a sign up to join the women’s Endura Sport Team based in Holland in recent months. To top it off, she has been carded by BikeNZ and is returning to Cambridge for women’s pursuit team training.
The Junior Newcomers Award was presented to Ellesse Andrews, from Central Otago, who debuted on the track at the Southland Champs with a couple of silver medals before stepping up into the Track Nationals and a huge and talented field of U17s, where she was in her element netting three bronze, two silver and a gold along with a New Zealand record in the team sprint with partner Emma Cumming.
Off the Bike Awards were awarded to teenager Kate Wilson for being an enthusiastic and willing helper at beginner sessions in the afternoons, while the Peter Kissell Memorial senior trophy jointly went to Andrea Hope for her endless hours of fundraising, planning and catering initiatives with the junior division, as well as countless volunteer hours operating timing and results systems during track events, along with Robin Criglington. He is always found at his post on door takings and rider registrations for track events, and he volunteers to travel to almost every road race start point to again collect entry fees and rider sign-ins.
The outstanding results among a raft of top juniors made for another exceptionally tight battle with key nominees of Hamish Beadle, Brayden Stephens, Hayden Strong, Emma Cumming, Hamish Keast and Corbin Strong, seeing the lady of the pack Cumming taking out the coveted Junior Rider of the Year title. The Southland Champs were a showcase for Cumming with eight gold medals from eight events and an impressive collection of three silvers and three gold, including a team sprint New Zealand record.
The Senior Rider of the Year title went to rainbow jersey-wearing master Erin Criglington for the second year running after winning the 2000m individual pursuit at the World Track Champs in Manchester, along with three silvers and a bronze, along with a New Zealand record in the kierin and a further nine gold medals at the Age Group Champs.
The Elite Rider of the Year was another hugely contested title, a who’s who of talented Southlanders in the mix. But the achievement of being the outstanding anchor of the first ever NZ team to win a world sprint title, while setting a NZ record at the same time, meant ace sprinter Eddie Dawkins took out the title for the second consecutive year. Other achievements including being ranked number one for the World Cup Sprint Series and becoming the first ever NZ rider to break the 10 second mark for the flying 200 both overseas and then again back home at the Oceania Track Champs.
The final People's Choice Awards of the night were the "Muppet of the Year" awarded to Dave Beadle, who was apparently struck down with “motion sickness” during a Junior Division fundraising project at the Recycling Centre, which resulted in him being bed ridden for the rest of the day.
Meanwhile, the Performance of the Year went to Hayden Strong for his outstanding ride in the under 17 scratch race at the Age Group Track Nationals that had the crowd on their feet when he won gold.
Special Contribution Awards were also presented to Bev Erskine (Overseeing Cyclofit three days a week), Sid Cumming (Junior Cycling), Stu MacDonald (Club Coaching), Dave Beadle (Junior Cycling), Lindsay Jordan (Executive Supervision), Bruce Jones (Senior Cycling) and Julian Ineson (Outstanding Commitment) for their generous efforts.
The evening was topped off with guest speaker Cycling Southland’s recently appointed development officer Nick Longworth.
Lettink said with many more exciting international and national events pending on the calendar for both road and track events, including the Crowe Horwath Corporate Pursuit in late June-early July, Yunca Junior Tour in October, SBS Bank Tour of Southland in November and Southland Track Champs in December there were many more exciting achievements to be celebrated over the coming months. Once again it would be the flurry of willing volunteers and officials who would ensure these events ran smoothly so the riders could focus on their craft.