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BikeManawatu is the regions top sports club!

Grass Roots Sports AwardsMuch to the surprise of BikeManawatu governance board members, the club walked away with two of the major prizes at the 2011 Property Brokers Grassroots Sports Awards on Friday evening (23 September).

BikeManawatu was recognised as the region’s top sports club after winning the Sports Club of the Year Award heading off stiff competition.

BikeManawatu also received the ELLEA SPORT best presented club of the year award ahead of contenders Weraroa Cricket Club and Palmerston North Squash Club.

The club was also named a finalist in both the club event of the year and the fundraising initiative of the year categories.

In accepting the awards, board chairperson, Paul van Velthooven was essentially lost for words but was humbled by the recognition bestowed upon the club.  “We have come a long way in such a small space of time through the efforts of a number of people”, he said. “Our journey to be the heart of cycling in NZ is on the right path and while we are presently the fourth largest cycling club in NZ, we aim to get bigger”.  “Special recognition must go to the club’s secretary Glenys Taylor and the webmaster Vaughan Hunt for the essential work they do”, he added.

Most would have thought the Manawatu bid for the velodrome was dead in the water but it was difficult to overlook Paul’s closing remarks about the cycling centre of excellence when he said, “watch this space”.  There is no doubt that the wounds are still raw at the treatment meted to the Palmerston North bid team.  However, it would appear that the bid team are still not prepared to put away all the hard work done to date. So far nothing has been promised, and nothing can be certain, but given the huge level of support and encouragement from the wider community, that support remains. It does gives the bid team a flicker of hope that a push for a velodrome will have not been in vain. It remains a fantastic proposal and one that would give this City and the region a significant point of difference suggested Paul.

See also Manawatu Standard coverage.