Cycling New Zealand will officially initiate its performance development strategy with the launch of the Grassroots Trust Waikato-Bay of Plenty Performance Hub in Cambridge today.
It is the first of a planned eight Cycling Performance Hubs to form a network around the country to help sustain the future success of high performance cycling in New Zealand by increasing both the quality and quantity of young riders feeding into the elite tier of the sport. Cycling New Zealand plans six regional cycling hubs as well as two national hubs for Mountain Bike and BMX.
“Investing in development and performance pathways is a key to securing top talent and continuing to grow New Zealand’s performance outcomes on the world stage,” said Cycling New Zealand CEO, Andrew Matheson. “Each of the Cycling Performance Hubs will have strong regional ties and connections with locally-based riders, a local coach and local sponsors. The Hubs will be connected closely with the national programme in terms of training and development support in terms of coaching, sports science, strength and conditioning and other services.”
Matheson said the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Performance Hub was indebted to the support of the Grassroots Trust, a charitable trust that supports sport, education and community sectors in the Waikato, and from businessman and philanthropist, Richard Seaton. Cycling New Zealand also recognised the key support from High Performance Sport New Zealand with the Performance Hub strategy.
Seventeen young cyclists are part of the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Performance Hub, training weekly at the Avantidrome in Cambridge under coach Jon Andrews. Andrews, a former Olympic and Commonwealth Games representative, has been involved in coaching for the last 15 years including as head coach of the successful New Zealand team at the UCI Junior Track World Championship in Switzerland this year.
As well as a direct involvement in the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Performance Hub, Andrews will also have a management role over the other Cycling Performance Hubs.
The Waikato-Bay of Plenty Performance Hub launched in style with three of its riders officially presented with Rainbow Jerseys for their gold medal performances at the Junior World Track Championships in July. They are Emma Cumming and Ellesse Andrews who won the women’s team sprint and Jared Gray, a member of the winning team pursuit squad.
Cycling New Zealand said plans for the other Cycling Performance Hubs are developing well and will roll out on a progressive basis over the next two years.