With the Sydney Uni Velo Club AGM only a week away I thought it a good time to reflect over the past year and the year ahead.
2016 finished in emphatic style with SUVelo being awarded the 2016 NSW Road Premiership by Cycling NSW. That is back to back titles for SUVelo and shows that SUVelo is clearly the dominant road racing club in NSW. These awards are a testament to the men and women who regularly pin on a number and compete for the club around NSW and Australia. As an established and well recognised road cycling club, SUVelo enjoys a solid reputation as a safe, competitive, welcoming and developmental club, catering for the interests of road cyclists of all abilities.
There are some induvial achievements that need to be recognised and 2016 was a break out year for Jessie Coyle who only started racing in 2015. Jesse achieved a silver medal at the NSW State title for the individual time trial. Our men’s racing squad also achieved a hard-fought silver medal at the NSW Club Teams Time Trial at Nowra. The men’s squad was expertly captained by Chris Miller who himself had a strong season with numerous top 30 results in the National Road Series including a very strong performance in the Grafton to Inverell and the Tour of Tasmania. Chris recently won L’Étape Australia and the 2017 NSW Master’s Road Race and Individual Time Trial for his age category. Other noticeable racing performances that cannot go unheralded include Jesse Morley’s NSW road race title, Moosh Brown Master’s criterium title and Nate Bonarius for like…everything.
Ella Scanlon-Boor showed why she is one of the brightest talents in women’s racing on the national scene at the moment with a strong win in the women’s road race at the Australian University Games in Perth. Robert Carr was in the right place at the right time to take a well-deserved second place at the same games in the men’s road race. This event remains one of the club’s key focal points and an important date on our competition calendar.
The club has refocussed its racing efforts this year with an emphasis on racing at a club level. We have created the Racing@SUVelo program which aims to create a collaborative and supported program for our members to race, learn skills and come together. This program has been expertly run by Nate Bonarius who has provided mentoring and skills support to allow people to become racers or grow in their racing pursuits. Top end high level racing is still important to the club and whilst the club itself is no longer running a mens and women’s team this year, we have partnered with two great teams to provide a strong link to the highest level of domestic racing and to provide a pathway for club mates who wish to compete at these top levels. On the men’s side we have partnered with NERO Racing in their inaugural year as an NRS team and on the women’s side we have partnered with the NSWIS Sydney University team who are competing at an NRS level and proudly flew the flag at the World Tour level at the Santos Tour Down Under this year.
SUVelo had the good fortune to maintain very strong sponsor support in 2016 and it is the generosity of these sponsors that underpins SUVelo’s ongoing development and success. Our sponsors Slater and Gordon Lawyers, The Malaya, Sports Focus Physiotherapy, Staminade, A’qto, Turbo Studio and Pave the Way have all made valuable contributions in 2016. The role and support of the Sydney University Sports Federation cannot by understated, their commitment to the club is second to none and we are proud to wear the University lion on our jersey.
The club’s social side is just as important as the riding and the club organised a series of stellar event for its member and supporters. The highlight of which was hosting Australian Olympians Rachel Neylan and Richie Porte at the SUVelo President’s dinner at the Malaya restaurant in November.
2016 was another successful year of growth for SUVelo, building upon its solid performance-based ethos of which SUVelo is proud and from which we can work to further enhance the reputation and rewards for our club. I would like to thank the SUVelo committee for their efforts over the past year. Without them none of this would have been possible. I am blessed to work with such a great group of people who sacrifice their time to make our sport and our club better.