OPINION: This weekend Cycling Southland will mark 10 years of Invercargill's Velodrome with a special May Magnifique! carnival on Friday and Saturday night.
The venue was officially opened on May 26, 2006 and in the 10 years between then and now it has played a major role in lifting Cycling New Zealand into a world powerhouse on the track.
On top of that Southland's very own young cyclists have emerged as superstars of the sport by cutting their teeth riding on the SIT Velodrome boards.
Names like Eddie Dawkins, Tom Scully, and Piet Bulling have flown the Southland flag on the world stage and a good chunk of that can be put down having an indoor velodrome based in their back yard.
Invercargill's Velodrome will forever be known as New Zealand's first ever indoor velodrome and it took a bunch of committed and innovative members of the Southland community to make it happen.
The challenges were not small, both financially and logistically, but the construction of the velodrome happened in little old Invercargill despite many thinking it was probably a step too far.
While known as a cycling venue the velodrome hasn't been restricted to bikes. When the main Stadium Southland collapsed the velodrome housed the Southern Steel and Southland Sharks.
Tennis, beach volleyball and national poultry shows have also been staged in the venue just to name a few.
The Southland Times has been there from day one, firstly covering off those countless challenges to get it built, and then helping to record the overflowing list of achievements which have been stamped on the track.
This week in the lead up to the May Magnifique! carnival we will take a look back at the past 10 years of action at the velodrome and also reflect with those people who made it happen.
Before we do reflect we will take a look at where to now for Invercargill's velodrome.
A second indoor velodrome in New Zealand has been built in Cambridge. However, it seems Cycling New Zealand still views Invercargill as an important factor in continuing to produce world champions.
Happy birthday SIT Velodrome.
Article courtesy Logan Savory Stuff