12/02/2011 - BikeNZ have this week reaffirmed their future support of the ILT Velodrome.
Cycling Southland Chief Executive Nick Jeffrey confirmed that he has received positive feedback from both SPARC and BikeNZ following formal notification that Southland would not submit a bid to host a National Cycling Centre of Excellence in Invercargill.
"We wanted to make clear that whilst we have no intention of committing significant local funds to further developing an already world class facility like the ILT Velodrome to fit the classification required by SPARC, we do wish to continue to play a significant role from both an events and training perspective in the future," Jeffrey said.
He and Stadium Southland General Manager Nigel Skelt co-signed a letter to the national organisations overseeing the Cycling Centre of Excellence tendering process on behalf of the Bike Southland consortium, which also included the Southland Mountain-bike and BMX Clubs and Sport Southland.
"We believed it was important to formally register our future aspirations. There can be no debate about what the ILT Velodrome has done for the sport of track cycling in New Zealand. We are now a world power. We are pretty proud of the contribution we have made to the High Performance end of the sport. I'm delighted BikeNZ have recognised that in their reply and re-emphasised the key role the ILT Velodrome will play in the future," Jeffrey said.
"We also left the door open for discussions, should a successful tenderer not be forthcoming or if a less financially-straining solution was sought," he said with a smile. "Anything we can do to help."
Jeffrey believes a number of positives have come out of the process.
"Obviously the recognition on the support we have given in the past is pleasing, but it's also got a great group of people together. Dave Brookland (MTB) and Ginge Burnett (BMX) have added a huge amount over the last few months and there are some exciting things ahead for all of the bike codes in terms of facility development, programmes and events through closer collaboration."
"Plus it has been a timely reminder that Cycling Southland and the ILT Velodrome's top priority must be serving and developing our grass-roots membership. Our facility and activities have been developed for Southlanders first and foremost. A wonderful by-product of what we have in the south, in terms of facility and people, is that we have been able to play a role on a national or, in the case of the 2012 Junior World Track Championships, international scale. But one should follow the other. If we go out chasing the national and international glory stuff then we have our priorities a little out of whack."
BikeNZ's High Performance squad has been again put through its paces this week at the ILT Velodrome. The team departs for the final UCI World Cup in Manchester this weekend before returning south in time for the RaboDirect National Elite and Age Group Championships from February 25th.
A full transcript of the Bike Southland letter can be found by clicking here.