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Awards Dinner huge success

IMG_1878The inaugural awards dinner was held on Friday night at Hotel Coachman. The guest speaker for the night was Simon van Velthooven – London Olympic Bronze medallist. The medal sat in it’s case on the bar for all to look at or hold or wear. The master of ceremonies for the night was Ken Young resplendent in his kilt. He started the evening by welcoming everyone including the invited guests.  Before dessert was served we were enthralled by Simon’s address. He not only covered his route to get to where he is now but told of his most cherished moments – the kilo in 60 seconds at Melbourne – a feat that just blows the mind and for some of us is just completely incomprehensible. Keiren racing in Japan is something quite extraordinary and Simons account of racing conditions, bikes, crowds and crowd actions was enlightening and amusing.  He ended his presentation by asking the crowd if there were any questions. One answer to a question from Adam Curry had every one in fits of laughter. Simon ended his presentation by saying that there is the medal and then there is Simon. He regards himself still just as Simon. He is a great role model to all our riders.  He was presented with a Bike Manawatu skin suit and asked to wear it with pride as Bike Manawatu is certainly very proud of him.

After dessert the awards part of the evening started. The first award was presented by Garry Buys and was the Pedal Pushers Good Samaritan Award. This was awarded to Richard Sheehan for his help with the newbies on the Sunday rides and the first XV.

Then Paul van Velthooven –board chairperson – was called on to present the Jim Mason Cup to Kirsty Kaihau. This is a new award and is for volunteer service to the club by a person who is not necessarily a cyclist or member of the club. Kirsty received the award for helping out at Wednesday night time trials, work on the Novice tour committee and her marvellous photos that show a permanent record of club events.  A selection of Kirsty’s photos were displayed throughout the night.

Manawatu District Mayor Margaret Kouvelis presented the Hughes Family Trophy to Barry Gilliland. This trophy is for Best All Round Club Member, not judged only on cycling abilities but also for commitment and contribution to helping the club in other areas. Barry is a great time trialist and was spotted as recently as last week helping another rider in a club race reach the finish line. He has completed his STMS training and uses this to help the club in a most professional manner.

Ian McKelvie, patron of Bike Manawatu, had the honour of presenting the Black Memorial Trophy. Recently Ian was involved in a small mishap off his bike but was able to disperse with the use of his crutches while he stood at the front to present the award to Steve Stannard. This trophy is for the club rider whose attitude towards the club, racing performance and promoting the sport is of the highest standard. Steve at the beginning of the year put together a team of local riders to compete in the NZ Cycle Classic men’s tour. He also competed in the Wellington to Auckland race and won. He competes in the open grade as opposed to his age grade in road races and also competes in time trials and on the track. He is a board member and helps with the coaching group and schools cycling.

The final award of the night was presented by Chris Foggin on behalf of Bike NZ. It was the Bike NZ Long Service Volunteer of the Year trophy that was awarded to Matt van Wagtendonk. It was to be presented to Matt at Christchurch at the Bike NZ AGM in June but on that weekend Bike Manawatu was staging the Manawatu School champs and as Matt was the organiser of this event he could not travel to Christchurch to receive his award. It was a fitting time for Matt to be presented with this award as he was surrounded by friends and family who all know so well the amount of time that Matt has given to the sport of cycling in the Manawatu and NZ.

As a final gesture on the night Simon van Velthooven called his coach and good friend Mike McRedmond to the front. In a very moving moment Simon placed his bronze medal around Mike’s neck and said thanks.

For the organising group it was a great success and we look forward to another great evening next year.

Photo’s thanks to Kirsty Kaihau

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