Fellow Track cyclist, club, track enthusiast and volunteers.
This weekend I realised that we have only been communicating with the converted, sending out regular communication and WhatsApp messages to our track community. Well, that is certainly not a way to reach new riders and make clubs feel welcome at our tracks, leagues, races, coached sessions etc. We are most certainly not going to be able to do all the catchup in one newsletter, so there will be more regular newsletters going out this year. Please forward to all your members.
In a normal year, by now we would have had at least 8 league races and provincial champs would be done and dusted. 2021 started with us all in lockdown, from where we progressed to being allowed to train and use the track under strict covid restrictions, this allowed our athletes to prepare for Africa Continental Champs. ACC was a huge success with team SA returning with 49 of the 72 medals on offer. Gauteng cyclists made up more than half of the team and also brought back their fair share of the tally.
From Continental Champs, we basically went straight into SA Road Champs and here we are now.
If that continuous stream of messages asking when League racing will start again is not enough to get us going, well many of us simply miss those fun afternoons of racing.
The track Commission convened last Thursday and plans are underway to finalise a league programme for 2021. Covid has changed many things and taught us new ways to do things. With no league racing, coaches started offering weekend training sessions that were very well attended. Some riders indicated that they would not like to lose the opportunity to attend weekend coached sessions and more than one coach indicated that they would like to take advantage of the opportunity to offer weekend coached sessions. The commission decided that there would be slightly fewer league races this year and that we must find new ways to spice things up a bit. How it will be structured exactly will depend on the group of volunteers that put up their hands to help plan and run the various aspects of League racing and the Track programme for 2021. We also hope to incorporate some events and initiatives at Pilditch into the 2021 programme.
We had really good attendance in the second half of 2020 and hope to continue on that growth trajectory for 2021. This year we are not going to run ahead of ourselves. We are also not going to plan 40 league races and leave it up to a small group of volunteers to make it happen.
WE NEED YOU to volunteer and help us deliver another awesome year of track cycling in Gauteng.
Even if you can just offer an hour every other week, or assist with some race day admin at league, Provincial or SA champs, the sport of track cycling and the running of our track facilities cannot be left to just a small group of volunteers. Many hands make light work, and I am in any case just too boring to organise all the fun stuff you want to do at the track. In the past I have had parents and clubs ask where they can get involved, well this is it, we have made it super easy to volunteer with our online VOLUNTEER page. The more volunteers we get, the easier it is for everyone and the more we can offer. https://forms.gle/UDaKFtUPShwUfS98A
You may think that the year is almost over and it will be a mad rush to catch up and fit everything in, but it is far from that. Our 2021 calendar has undergone a number of changes and the formal racing calendar has shifted towards the second half of the year.
The 2021 Track Calendar as it currently stands.
KZN Champs PMB- 10-11 April (Open to other Provinces)
UCI Nations Cup; 13-16 May
UCI Nations Cup; 03-06 June
Gauteng Track Champs: 24-25 July
World Junior Champs Cairo: 01-05 Sept
SA Omnium Champs (Hector Norris):18-19 Sept
SA Track Champs: Cape Town 05-10 Oct (dates not final)
Joburg Grand Prix and Omnium: 04-05 Dec
Please feel free to contact me or your regional track commissioner should you have any questions or suggestions.
Track Commissioner Gauteng