Some form of normality has returned to the ILT Velodrome in Invercargill following the collapse of Stadium Southland last weekend.
One of the heaviest snowfalls in recent memory dumped massive amounts of the white stuff in the deep south and the associated pressure (estimated to be up to 600 tonnes in weight) brought down the Stadium’s Main Event and Community Courts. The ILT Velodrome and SBS Sports House which house a number of Regional Sports Organisations, including Cycling Southland, were unaffected by the collapse.
The Velodrome was built four years ago as an extension to the existing Stadium Southland complex. Even though the facility is joined to the Stadium, it was designed and built as a separate, stand-alone structure, something which held it in good stead last weekend.
The Stadium Southland’s Velodrome reopened for business today (Friday) after being closed to the public and riders for six days. Normal track sessions will resume on Monday. The venue is this weekend hosting a Craft Show but riders got back out on the boards for a two-hour Lunch Roll, offered free to Cycling Southland members as a thank you for their patience and support through what has been a challenging week.
Cycling Southland chief executive Nick Jeffrey said while the stadium collapse was devastating, sporting organisations had embraced the opportunity to work together. “"It's given sports organisations the opportunity to get alongside each other and work to one collective end goal, instead of operating individually," he said. “There’s great sharing of ideas and concepts and the end result is nothing but positivity.”
“We have dodged a bullet compared to the Steel netball and Sharks basketball teams and other sports who now have lost their sporting home, or the farmers who are losing a good slice of new-borns and breeding stock in this storm. That does provide some perspective.”
“I can’t speak highly enough of Nigel Skelt and his Stadium team have been superb with their keenness to get “business-as-usual” underway quickly and have already committed to ensuring priority is placed on continuing to host BikeNZ’s HP programme and our suite of national and international events in Invercargill. We’re really thankful for that and are doing everything we can in return to get as much activity in Stadium Southland’s ILT Velodrome”
Upcoming events including the Yunca Junior Tour (October 1st-3rd) and OctoberFest Track Carnival (5th-6th) have been unaffected and will proceed as scheduled.