Date: Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Cycling New Zealand’s Southern Performance Hub has taken another step forward with the Southern Institute of Technology, SIT, coming on board as the major sponsor of the new initiative, and with the appointment of Sid Cumming as Hub Lead Coach. 

The SIT Southern Performance Hub, to be based at Invercargill, will provide development opportunities for talented young riders from the Southland and Otago regions, working in with the existing cycling programmes and infrastructure that are already in place in Southland, adding value and connecting riders with their pathway to high performance. 

Cycling New Zealand said it is delighted that its next Regional Performance Hub will be in Southland, given the region’s strong background in the sport, existing complimentary cycling programmes and key infrastructure like the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome facility.

The hub will connect closely with the national programme in terms of training and development support around coaching, sports science, strength and conditioning and other services.

“Cycling New Zealand is excited about the partnership with SIT and bringing this Southern Performance Hub to life, recognising the valuable role that the southern regions have played and continue to play in our sport,” said Cycling New Zealand CEO, Andrew Matheson.

“We are thrilled to work with the Southern Institute of Technology as the naming rights sponsor of the hub.  The Hub will provide development opportunities for talented young local riders on the track and the road, allowing them to continue to live, work and study in the South while progressing their pathway towards high performance cycling.”

SIT is already a strong supporter of cycling in the region as naming sponsor of New Zealand’s first indoor velodrome.

SIT Chief Executive, Penny Simmonds states that the SIT Southern Performance Hub is a great addition to the portfolio of sports sponsorships supported by SIT. “We already support cycling in Southland with the naming rights sponsorship of our velodrome and have supported Eddie Dawkins over the years, so this partnership seemed like the logical next step.”

“The SIT Southland Performance Hub will retain talent in our region which is really good for all sporting professionals. We are excited about the opportunities this association will bring”

It is the third of a planned eight Cycling Performance Hubs which will form a network around the country to help sustain the future success of high performance cycling in New Zealand by increasing both the quality and quantity of young riders feeding into the elite tier of the sport.

Cycling New Zealand plans six regional cycling hubs as well as two national hubs for Mountain Bike and BMX. The SIT Southern Performance Hub follows the Grassroots Trust Waikato-Bay of Plenty cycling hub in Cambridge and National Mountain Bike Performance Hub launched last week in Rotorua.

In keeping with the strong local support that has driven momentum in the project is the announcement that Cumming has been appointed as the Hub Coach.

Cumming is well-known in the sporting scene in Southland, owning a health and fitness gym in Invercargill for 26 years and was a successful coach of rowing and triathlon in the region before turning to cycling, in charge of the region’s under-17 and under-19 programmes.

“The best thing about coaching is watching good young people achieve their goals and become better people on and off the bike,” Cumming said.

The SIT Southland Performance Hub will host its first intake of riders at a training camp next month.

Photo credit Dianne Manson

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