Cycling Southland was named Club of the Year at the BikeNZ Road and Track Volunteer Awards in Auckland on Saturday night.
The awards have become part of the national annual general meeting weekend over recent years and they recognize the huge contribution made by volunteers and officials who keep the sport’s wheels turning year after year.
No one does it for awards like these but, let’s be honest, it’s always nice to see all the hard work recognized. A lot of time was spent this weekend reflecting on the past 12 months. On a national basis that was headlined by the London Olympics. Locally, the UCI Juniors Track World Championships was the beacon of a massive year but for me, the continued growth of the sport at grass-roots level was the most pleasing thing.
Hosting an event the scale of Junior Worlds gets you the headlines and gets you the awards, but it’s the volunteers who turn up week after week to assist with club racing or coaching on the velodrome or stand on a wind-swept corner with high-vis vest and flag in hand who put us in the position to put our hands up with events like this.
Then there are those who are also heavily involved on a national basis helping to drive the sport forward in volunteer roles. Steve Canny was reinstalled as the Vice President of Bike Road and Track – the Member Organisation that oversees the sport for the eleven cycling centres throughout the country.
Meanwhile, Graham Sycamore added another line to his ridiculously long cycling CV as he was voted on to the BikeNZ board.
Our good mate Syccie wasn’t able to attend the weekend due to a prior commitment – only the second AGM he has missed in the last 40, (the other when he was in Los Angeles in 1984 for a small event called the Olympics.) Shows you what happens when you miss one mate!
There are challenges ahead for sport at all levels, but with people of this quality rolling their sleeves up nationally and locally to assist the cause, the sport remains in good heart.
Nick Jeffrey is Chief Executive of Cycling Southland