Date: Tuesday, 30 July 2013
Posted by: Cycling Southland

Stu MacDonaldThe country’s most promising track cyclists may have a new path to follow to develop their talents on and off the bike with the investigation of a new initiative based at Cycling Southland's SIT Zerofees Velodrome in Invercargill.

The organisation today announced plans to look at the development of a Southland Cycling Academy, aimed at developing young track cyclists into stars of the future with an education and career focus. 

The Academy, in association with the Southern Institute of Technology, is proposed to launch in February 2014, subject to rider interest. Cyclists are encouraged to register their intention now for this exciting programme.

The programme aims to develop cyclists aged 17-22, both on the bike and in the classroom. 

Cycling Southland Chief Executive Nick Jeffrey believes the success of the concept lies in the world class facilities, quality people and holistic approach to this rider development model.

“It’s easy to focus on just going fast around the track and one of Invercargill’s points of difference is the world class SIT Zerofees Velodrome. But for us, the real benefit of this programme is its focus on developing good people, not just good bike riders,” Mr Jeffrey said.

“We’ve had incredible success in developing athletes in the past. This takes it a step further, with education or employment options a key part of the Academy. And when you have the Southern Institute of Technology and Zero Fees in your city it’s another key string to the bow.”

Coach Stu MacDonald, formerly National Women’s Sprint coach with BikeNZ, will spearhead the Southland Academy.

MacDonald is excited at the prospect of nurturing some of New Zealand’s promising young bike riders and believes that combining both a structured training programme with a quality education will help participants develop into far more well rounded and organized athletes. 

“The transition from the junior U19 category into the first couple of years as a senior rider is probably the hardest challenge a young cyclist will face. With the structure and support that the academy will provide, I’m sure that we will start to see more young riders progressing further in their cycling careers. The fact that this programme has support from SIT is fantastic as our holistic approach to development and performance will be reinforced with the participants having a sound education and qualification to fall back on when they hang up their wheels”

“Participants will have the opportunity to train in an organized, well structured, professional setting which encourages them to thrive on the fastest velodrome in New Zealand”

“Our targets on the bike will be key events at a national and international level with the possibility of racing on the world stage as part of a trade team which is part of our long term vision”

Expressions of interest from motivated, hard working youngsters aged 17-22 who would like to be involved with the programme are now open. 

The programme is based in Invercargill and is proposed to run for approximately 40 weeks per year alongside the typical term times (although this is flexible due to training commitments leading into key race events).



Expression of interest will close September 30


For more information contact

Stu MacDonald

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