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Bike Manawatu Schools Awards

Track prize givingAngus Findlay, Kathryn Young and Campbell Stewart were the three major prize winners from Sunday’s Bike Manawatu School’s prize giving ceremony held in Feilding.  Angus received the Best Result by Team or Individual Award.  Angus’ meteoric rise has been nothing but outstanding.  Having come from golf, and only having recently taken up competitive cycling late in 2010, he quickly became a force to be reckoned with at local and regional level.  His performances were that consistent that he was selected for the NZ U19 Development Squad this year where he competed in Canberra. 

His year was capped off with some standout performances in the North Island Schools programme in Cambridge and Feilding. His success has been based upon his personal commitment to succeed and some long hours training on his bike. He will certainly be another Findlay name to watch out for in the future alongside brothers Tom and Mark, who already have well established profiles in the sport.

U15 rider Campbell Stewart received the Male Rider of the Year Award which recognised his at schools racing in 2011..  His performances in Taupo (1st in the road race) and Fielding (2nd in the road race and 2nd in the points race) were simply outstanding and he is one who displays cunning and maturity well beyond his years.  He has the ability to read a race very well and this skill is paying dividends for him. He will certainly be a star of the future on the road and track.

Kathryn Young received the Female Rider of the Year Award for her recognition of the outstanding leadership afforded to Palmerston North Girls’ High School Cycling and the Schools programme.  She performed the Master of Ceremony’s duties on Sunday but she has also done so in previous years.  To be able confidently do so shows great courage and confidence on her part.  Kathryn’s leadership was instrumental in fostering and developing PNGHS cycling into what it is today.

Paul van Velthooven was on hand to give out awards and quickly acknowledged that the similarities between the Schools’ cycling programme and Bike Manawatu’s vision  – to be the heart of NZ Cycling.  As reported earlier, cycling at the school’s level has increased dramatically over the years and the initiative to include a unified schools cycling programme into the club is now reaping the benefits, with significant benefits to both the schools and the club.  If you compare the Manawatu schools to a number of other regions, by in large Manawatu Schools are streaks ahead.  Evidence of this was seen when Bike Manawatu Schools dominated the Wellington Schools’ competition in September across all age categories.  PNBHS also took some pride in receiving the Schools Award in July while at the North Island Secondary School competition in Cambridge and came second in Feilding.

2012 promises so much even with a number of year 13 students moving on.  There is a wealth of talent coming through and potentially many others yet to discover cycling as a sport.  Who knows, the Manawatu could have more superstars in the wings like Jesse Sergent and Simon van Velthooven, who came out of the schools cycling programme in its infancy.

Photos thanks to Kirsty Kaihau

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