Com­mu­nity’s tour of duty

The Invercargill Eye - - FRONT PAGE - RE­BECCA MOORE

The SBS Bank Tour of South­land is well un­der way in the re­gion, but the rid­ers are not the only ones hav­ing fun.

Saint Theresa’s School prin­ci­pal Ju­lian Ine­son said the whole com­mu­nity was get­ting be­hind the event with schools per­form­ing haka and road-side cheer­ing from the pub­lic.

As in pre­vi­ous years, Ine­son will com­men­tate for the tour, with two lit­tle helpers by his side.

He has been com­men­ta­tor for about 19 years and has been in­volved in the event in other ways for sev­eral years be­fore that.

It was tra­di­tion for the In­ver­cargill prin­ci­pal to bring stu­dents along as they learnt about per­se­ver­ance, courage, re­spect and de­ter­mi­na­tion, Ine­son said.

‘‘It’s an iconic event for South­land. They [the rid­ers] are role mod­els for the chil­dren, they get to meet and see them in per­son.

‘‘It’s about the com­mu­nity feel of the tour in­volv­ing schools and the com­mu­nity.’’

To­day, stu­dents So­phie Hika and Luke Reynolds will help, rid­ing in the truck with Ine­son and hav­ing their turn on the mic. ‘‘They’re very ex­cited, they’re two very sporty kids ... it’s a great op­por­tu­nity for them.’’

Luke was look­ing for­ward to meet­ing the rid­ers and hav­ing a go on the mic.

‘‘I’m ex­cited, not that I know what I’ll say.’’

So­phie said she wanted to ask the rid­ers how long they had been rac­ing and what train­ing they did.

It would be mo­ti­va­tion for her own sports, she said.

Or­gan­is­ers say it would be hard to pre­dict win­ners for the event which kicked off on Oc­to­ber 26 and fin­ishes on Novem­ber 4.

With only one pre­vi­ous win­ner in the field for the 61st edi­tion of the event, Brad Evans, of Otago, the coun­try’s best up-and-com­ing tal­ent and over­seas rid­ers, in­clud­ing from Australia, United Sates, Canada, Eng­land, New Cale­do­nia and Ger­many, will be look­ing to add their name to an il­lus­tri­ous list of past cham­pi­ons.

New Zealand cy­clists Tino Tabak, Jack Swart, Brian Fowler and Hay­den Roul­ston were all mul­ti­ple win­ners of the Tour of South­land, while, in more re­cent times, Greg Hen­der­son, Jack Bauer, Pa­trick Bevin, Dion Smith, Ge­orge Ben­nett and many oth­ers have used the race as a spring­board for launch­ing sig­nif­i­cant pro­fes­sional ca­reers over­seas.

Tour pic­tures, page 18.

RE­BECCA MOORE/STUFF

Saint Theresa’s School stu­dents So­phie Hika and Luke Reynolds, both 11, are set to help prin­ci­pal Ju­lian Ine­son with com­men­tary.

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