A BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK AT OUR SPORT
Welcome to the Cycling Southland Heritage Trail. Within this section you will find stories, photos and videos reflecting the history of our club. This section is constantly being developed so if you have items that could be used in this section please let us know.
Alternatively check out the many pieces of memoribilia that surrounds the perimetre of the Southland Velodrome. From signed jerseys of World Champions to stories that reflect the colourful tale of our sport, there's something for everyone.
Grass track racing has long been a part of the fabric of cycling. This includes two sports meetings Tuatapere on New Year's Day and the Browns Sports Society still conducting racing in excess of a 100 years.
For many of the up and coming stars of the sport, grass track racing was an introduction to the crowds at the many sports meetings. Names like Robinson, Dalton, Panagiotidis, Howie, Agnew, Ineson, McKenzie,Tall, Barlow and McLeay were just some of the prominent riders on the grass.
Exposure of the sport was huge with racing being held in conjunction with various sports society events including Lime Hills, Winton, Riverton, Otautau, Gorge Road, Edendale, Wyndam and Mataura. Crowds were not only treated to the cycling action but also athletics, baby shows, hay stacking, hole in one golf and much more.
Southlanders were further exposed to the sport of grass track racing at the annual AMP show held at the Invercargill show grounds. To further challenge the riders in the evening they had to contend with a track after a day of motorbikes, cattle and horses had used it for their various show events.
The Waikiwi Domain in Invercargill was another venue used during the middle of the week in the evenings for further racing to be contested.
Invercargill’s Rugby Park saw a world record equaling crowd of 20,000 enjoy the special sports meeting, which was run as part of the centenary year of Queen Elizabeth II in 1955. Along with cycling, gymnastics displays, life saving exhibition and sawing and the arrival of the centennial torch were some of the highlights of the evening.
1964 Southland dominated the NZ Grass Track Nationals that were also held at Rugby Park. The 19 strong team, won five of the seven titles up for grabs and in addition secured four silver and four bronze medals.
One of the most unique road races has been conducted for over 30 years now with the Invercargill to Browns race. After the short burst on the roads of Southland riders then have to contend with completing a lap and half on the grass on their road machines to decide who will take victory in the event.