I’ve always been passionate about sport whether playing or watching. Cycling found me in my 5th decade, 10 Taupo Cycle Challenges later I’m firmly a cycling nut. Whether its mountain biking the Timber trail, a Wanganui Cycling Club race on a Saturday afternoon or out with some mates on a Sunday morning not much beats the exercise, the camaraderie and the post cycle endorphin buzz!
The Velodrome has been an enigma to me for a number of years – I had a bit of a ride in it in the Wanganui Masters Games back a few years and tasted the potential (not mine!). Also was privileged to see a couple of ‘The Night of the Stars’ events – I’ve struggled with the fact we have a world class venue at our doorstep and totally under-utilised.
I’m rapt to be stuck in to the ‘Raise the Velo Roof’ project. In terms of local and regional economic development it’s a no brainer – and it’s not just about cycling; when we cover the Velodrome we’ll see a whole lot of other sports and recreational activities.
“I’m passionate about Wanganui and it’s ability to host events, tourism and sporting fixtures. The velodrome roofing project is a vision that is well overdue and I believe the time is right for action! Our 4 man team is very focused on achieving the completion of this roof, which in turn will be a catalyst to build the capability of this amazing regional facility”.
A Bit of History:
*Retired from the Telecommunications industry 1963-2015.
*Retired Chairman for the New Zealand Masters Games, Wanganui franchise.
*Past Director for the New Zealand Masters Games Company & member of the team to attract the World Masters Games to New Zealand.
*Trustee, Wanganui Events Trust & assistant Facilities Manager, Cooks Gardens, Wanganui.
Civil Engineer, recently retired from Opus International Consultants ( March 2016) after 50 year’s service, 44 years spent working in Palmerston North and Wanganui.
As Manager of the Wanganui Branch of Opus in the mid 1990’s Bob recognised the potential for the velodrome if it were covered, to become a cycling, sporting and events centre for the lower North Island region. At the time it was the only international standard velodrome in the country and the forerunner of the modern velodromes. He spearheaded a proposal by Opus to source funding for the project. This was rejected by Council.
He became involved in two further unsuccessful proposals to roof the velodrome.
At the centre of Bob’s vision is his belief that this project would be a catalyst for growing Wanganui. This is probably our last chance to achieve this vision. The time is right.
Mark is the Chairman at the Wanganui Events Trust volunteering his time to support the sporting and event growth of our city. He has a passion for cycling and believes that roofing the velodrome will have longterm positive benefits for our city, through enhanced visitor numbers, benefiting local businesses and economy.
Mark is the Company Director of Stoneman Financial and his fitness pursuits have seen him competing in the Coast to Coast , Ironman, and the Mountain to the Seas and is now helping organise the M2C Event as Race Director.
After spending 10 enjoyable years living and working in Whanganui, I am now based in the Manawatu. I see the real benefits and the potential growth this region has to offer through a covered velodrome.
All too often we see towns and cities across New Zealand being very insular in their approach to infrastructure. The Manawatu-Whanganui region has not sufficiently used its regional scale to support economic development and the Raise the Velo Roof project represents a solid opportunity. I believe that even a small, dispersed population like Whanganui can ably replicate the benefits of a larger city by building great connections with our regional partners.
Our region needs scale and the proposed Whanganui Velodrome stands as a unique, quality, regional facility that must be future-proofed to realize its full potential. The success of this project cannot be achieved alone, but through engagement with the region’s communities, a great project will come to fruition.