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It is with much pleasure that I bring you the first Chairman’s Report for Bike Manawatu.

Since our inauguration, the Board of Bike Manawatu has worked constructively in bringing the original three founding clubs into a cohesive, progressive and more powerful entity representing cyclists in our region, providing services to our members and continuing to develop the sport with the overarching vision “to grow cycling in the Manawatu”.

There are many achievements and milestones to list. Some of the more important achievements over the first four months include:

  • the establishment of Working Groups within the club that are dedicated to providing;

               (a) Membership services;
               (b) Events for all members to partake in;
               (c) Coaching and development;
               (d) Marketing and communication.

  • a growing membership now in excess of 220.
  • lobbying to Palmerston North City Council and Manawatu District Council around planning for the “safest, cycle friendly region in New Zealand”. A submission into the Draft LTCCP has been lodged.
  • heavy involvement with the SPARC initiated Cycling Centre of Excellence where we have been shortlisted. Our bid was arguably the best prepared, best produced and best funded. We stand ready to deliver alongside Palmerston North City Council, Massey and Sport Manawatu.
  • a significant growth in schools cycling with a dedicated group providing coaching, events and programmes across many Manawatu schools.
  • success for two of our elite riders on the international stage and the selection of some of our younger riders into national teams.
  • record attendances at Tuesday track nights and Wednesday evening time trials.
  • strong representation at Centre and National events with multiple titles across all age groups.
  • a Website that is user friendly and interactive and a great asset.
  • the excellent profile that our club is now enjoying in the community, particularly through the Cycling Centre of Excellence project.
  • the development of a “Terms of Reference” for the Board so that the role of all Board members are fully understood.
  • involvement with the initial Country Roads Classic through our membership volunteers and resultant $1,000 donation.
  • the growth in the role of our Secretary as a part time “funded” position to carry on the essential and growing administrative functions.
  • the close links that we now enjoy with Sport Manawatu and all the benefits that this relationship now brings to our club.
  • the continuation of our strong relationship with the Marist Sports Club through a sponsorship arrangement.

The club cannot function without the dedicated people who continue to add enormous value through their continued efforts. Whilst not keen to name names, for danger of leaving someone out, I feel that some acknowledgement should be made for certain individuals who generously continue to give their time and effort, and who have really embraced the vision of the club. They include:

  • Glenys Taylor our Secretary who is doing virtually a full time job on a part time salary.
  • Matt van Wagtendonk and Ross Castle for their dedication to growing schools cycling.
  • Ian Gray and Mike Keenan for continually putting their hands up for events and providing wisdom when it is needed.
  • Vaughan Hunt for the fantastic interactive website.

There are many others.

It is important for all our members to remember the enormous amount of voluntary work required to run an organisation of this size. To continue to grow we need your support wherever or whatever that may be. It is important that we spread the load across all our members.

I will also take this opportunity for the members to familiarise themselves with our Constitution. It is on the website (available once logged in). Within that document are outlined the Mission Statement Vision and Objectives for the Club. They are at Item 3, namely:

The Mission is to promote, foster and encourage recreational and competitive cycling in the Manawatu.

The Vision is to grow cycling in the Manawatu.

The Objectives of Bike Manawatu are:

    a) To develop cycling in the Manawatu and to encourage participation in cycling by individuals of all ages and ability
    b) To provide recreational and competitive cycling 
    c) To organise social events
    d) To support advocacy for all forms of cycling in the Manawatu
    e) To provide training, coaching and advice for all cyclists
    f) To liase with national and regional cycling bodies
    g) To provide good communication with members and other cycling related groups

I believe the Board in a short space of time has embraced the vast majority of the above goals and objectives.

There is of course much yet to do.

The Working Groups are the real machines that drive the Club. The Board is there for guidance and direction. The Working Groups can only work with support from members and their functions are to deliver results and outcomes as per key performance indicators set down. Each Working Group is required to report to the Board on a regular basis. Glenys our Secretary is aligned to each group and is the conduit between the Groups and the Board to ensure that co-ordination of activities is aligned and not conflicting e.g. events timing, sponsorship, applications for funds. The Board still has work to do around guidelines, responsibilities, budgeting, leadership etc.

The Board has identified a number of priorities for the next 12 months and they include:

  • To “bed down” the Working Groups modus operandi
  • Establish a mid-year social event and regular social activities
  • To engage with a principal sponsor for secretarial support
  • To remain profitable/viable
  • To make our roads safer/safest in New Zealand
  • To widen our audience through newspapers, newsletters and the website
  • To grow the membership
  • To increase the number of young people on bikes
  • To build on the momentum of the Velodrome bid
  • To be the New Zealand Centre of Cycling in whichever form that may take

Finally, I would also like to thank my fellow Board members for their constructive and positive input into getting this club underway. Whilst we have had a hiccup or two and we are still learning the ropes, the Board is very determined to make Bike Manawatu the success that was intended for it by the membership at the outset.

I firmly believe that the club has fully embraced the goals and aspirations of the three founding clubs. But as already stated there is much more work yet to do.

I look forward to giving you regular updates via the web on the ongoing successes and events over the coming year.

Please continue to support the club, tell the Board your thoughts, ideas, concerns and let’s achieve the vision “to grow cycling in the Manawatu”.

Paul van Velthooven