Thirty-four talented young cyclists have been named in the 2020-2021 intake of the Grassroots Trust Waikato Bay of Plenty Performance Hub including three former Ngāhinapōuri School pupils.
Claudia Vanner and Hannah Quinlan are part of the Senior Women's Endurance Squad while Zakk Patterson is in the Senior Men's Endurance Squad.
The Grassroots Trust Waikato BOP Hub is one of six performance hubs established by Cycling New Zealand to provide development and performance pathways for young riders who aspire to compete on the world stage.
The other performance hubs comprise track and road programmes in Auckland, Otago-Southland and Upper South-Canterbury along with national performance hubs for BMX in the Waikato and mountain biking in Rotorua.
The Waikato BOP programme is led by experienced coach Tim Carswell, who won two bronze medals at the 1998 Commonwealth Games and competed at two Olympic Games at Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000. His coaching career includes roles with cycling governing body UCI's development programme in Switzerland and three Olympic Games as a Cycling New Zealand coach.
"There was a flood of applications and selection is getting harder each year – there's a lot of talent in New Zealand. It is great to see riders across all hubs moving into the elite space and stepping up on the world stage. Once again we've had three riders from the Waikato BOP Hub step up into the elite team on the track and two riders from other hubs have moved up on to the road," said Carswell.
Last year Waikato Hub riders who progressed into the Vantage Elite teams included Ally Wollaston, who won the Women's Individual Pursuit at the 2019 Junior Track World Championships, 2018 Junior World Champion George Jackson in the Men's Endurance squad and Shaane Fulton who joined the Elite Sprint squad. Callum Saunders, 2019 Hub graduate, also impressed with a World Cup win in Hong Kong, relegating the current Olympic and World Champions to the minor placings.
The Grassroots Trust Waikato Bay of Plenty Performance Hub also continued to support the development of coaches within the Cycling New Zealand system with the third intake in its intern coaching programme which includes eight coaches in the track endurance and sprint areas this year.
"We are extremely lucky to have these development coaches working with our programme and I'm certain that we will see some of them trackside at major events like the Olympic and World Championships in the not too distant future," said Carswell.
The cycling performance hubs have strong local ties and connections with riders, coaches and sponsors in each area.
"For the Waikato and Bay of Plenty region, we are indebted to Grassroots Trust, Livingstone Builders and Vantage for their support in making this programme a reality."
The Grassroots Trust riders/interns are:
Development Squad: Kyle Aitken, Jes Schuler, Maui Morrison, Jack Gillingham, Hamish Banks, Oliver Watson-Palmer, Lily Cawood, Jared Mann, Jaxson Russell, Matt Davis, Jade Perry, Keisha Anderson.
Senior Women's Endurance Squad: Maddi Douglas, Jorja Swain, Lee Boon, Hannah Quinlan, Rylee McMullen, Claudia Vanner, Mya Anderson, McKenzie Milne, Courtney King.
Senior Sprint Squad: Jackson Ogle, Cailen Calkin, Patrick Clancy, Olivia King, Angus Claasen, Hamish Coltman, Jayden Fleming.
Senior Men's Endurance Squad: Jack Carswell, Carne Groube, Daniel Bridgwater, Reuben Webster, Zakk Patterson, Jarred Treymane.
Intern coaches: Colin Dixon, Jason Russell, Anna Wilkinson, Boris Clark, Fiona Carswell, Zac Williams, Eddie Dawkins, Adrian Hegyvary.