Students have a go at Avantidrome
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.”
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.