Positive spin on upgrade
SPEEDDOME REOPENS DOORS
CYCLING clubs are calling for VenuesWest to use its multi-million dollar upgrade to the Midvale SpeedDome as promotional leverage to attract more participants to the sport.
The SpeedDome reopened to the public last week after the installation of a new roof and track at a cost of $2.5 million.
VenuesWest chief executive David Etherton said delivering a world-class venue to West Australian-based athletes was a significant achievement.
“Grassroots, community cycling groups and WA Institute of Sport cyclists now have the capability to train and compete on one of the best tracks in the country,” he said.
“The new Siberian Pine track was custom-made and shipped from Germany, accompanied with a team of specialist fitters.”
X-Speed Australia Cycle Club president Amanda O’Connor said the refurbishment was an opportunity for VenuesWest to implement a larger, targeted approach to promote the sport and the venue.
“The initial excitement of the new boards will have a life span, so it’s important to use this as promotional leverage to increase foot traffic through the venue across multiple demographics, from juniors to elite cyclists to masters athletes,” she said.
Ms O’Connor said affordable access for school groups needed to be explored.
“The focus has to be on what will support the venue and sport into the future and that is junior participation,” she said.
“Schools are a prime user group that could contribute significantly to the future patronage of the sport and the venue.
“Without juniors supporting this venue, the sport won’t have longevity.”
Ms O’Connor said session fees during school hours were cost-prohibitive for school groups.
“When you add the session fees for out-of-standard-use hours during the school day, venue officer wages and bikes, coaches and equipment hire fees, you are left with either passing on a high cost to the consumer or taking a loss in the hope of gaining numbers,” she said.
JESSICA NICO is a reporter by day and a volunteer basketball coach by night. As she explains, sports volunteers aren’t really in it for the accolades, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t recognise them.
I AM often shot a look of incredulity when I tell people I volunteer as a junior basketball coach.
Most times that shock deepens when I tell them I coach not one but two teams, juggling almost 20 young teenage boys between them.
Taking up coaching is the best decision I have made.
It can be stressful, players can be irritating in typical teenage fashion, but the benefits far outweigh the few little irks.
I have seen the boys grow in more than just basketball skill and ability; they have become more confident, more respectful and more aware of how their actions impact others.
They are friendlier, better communicators, better leaders, better followers, better team players – all traits that will serve them well as they start to make their way in the world.
For myself, there are the benefits to mental health, a greater sense of community and the feeling of being part of something, of knowing you are making a difference, however small, in the life of a young person. I see first-hand the struggles my club and others like it have in enticing parents or the wider community to volunteer an hour or two a week, but grassroots sporting clubs can only survive through the generosity of their volunteers and the positives of being involved, of making a difference, are well worth a few hours a week.
If in 10 or 20 years “my boys” don’t remember anything that happened on the court, but remember they had a coach that they respected and had fun with, then it will all have been worth it.
That’s why I coach.
Ask the coach of any local team and I truly hope their answer and joy would be something similar to mine.
Do you know a coach or another passionate volunteer who has served their sport well? We are on the hunt for Local Sports Stars and the people who make it happen. Nominations close this month, so head to www.localsportsstars.com.au to recommend your outstanding coach or volunteer.
Amanda O’Connor says without juniors supporting the newly refurbished SpeedDome, the sport won’t have longevity.