Stu­dents have a go at Avan­tidrome

Waipa Post - - The Country - BY COLIN THORSEN

The Avan­tidrome is an im­por­tant part of the Waikato com­mu­nity, draw­ing ath­letes from the far reaches of New Zealand to com­pete in cy­cling events.

Cy­cling New Zealand, with help from spon­sor Sub­way Te Awa­mutu, wants to make the Avan­tidrome and cy­cling more ac­ces­si­ble to the com­mu­nity by run­ning a se­ries of Have a Go ses­sions for lo­cal schools.

Last Thurs­day 20 Year 10 stu­dents from the Te Awa­mutu Col­lege Sport Elite Class at­tended a work­shop that ran from 9.45am to 1pm. Af­ter be­ing briefed on safety and had hel­met and bike fit­ting, the stu­dents headed on to the track skirt and fol­lowed the coach's in­struc­tions to start their track ex­pe­ri­ence.

Cy­cling New Zealand men's en­durance rid­ers Re­gan Gough, Jor­dan Kerby and Tom Sex­ton helped the stu­dents out on the track.

Te Awa­mutu Col­lege 15-year-old Re­gan Tyler said the stu­dents had an amaz­ing time.

“It was great fun and gave me a real adrenalin rush,” he said.

“It was scary to start with, es­pe­cially rid­ing the steeply banked cor­ners.

“I felt like I was go­ing to slide down but once I had safely ne­go­ti­ated a cou­ple of laps my con­fi­dence grew.”

Re­gan's only pre­vi­ous cy­cling ex­pe­ri­ence was rid­ing a moun­tain­bike a cou­ple of times.

Georgia Young said she had done a bit of moun­tain bik­ing but had never rid­den a bike on ei­ther the road or track pre­vi­ously.

“I re­ally liked rid­ing the steep-banked cor­ners,” she said.

“It was scary but fun work­ing my way up to just above the blue line.”

Craig Scott was an­other first timer rid­ing the Avan­tidrome track.

He, too, found it “a bit scary” until he gained con­fi­dence rid­ing on the slope.

“We all had an amaz­ing time,” said Craig.

“The coach was ex­cel­lent and struck the right bal­ance be­tween safety and fun.”

Photo / Colin Thorsen

Olympian cy­clist Re­gan Gough checks out Te Awa­mutu Col­lege Year 10 stu­dent Dre­shan Hape-Ed­wards’ bike set-up be­fore he gets to ride the track at the Avan­tidrome in Cam­bridge.

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