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Carol Cooke Australian Paralympian

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Carol Cooke recently joined us at the Murray Bridge Women's Tour, below is a copy of her blog posted on her website 29th April 2014

I have never been invited to take part in a main stream Women's Tour. In fact other than club races 3 wheels never race with 2 wheels. We do train together but are never allowed to race in State based or elite races. However this past weekend I was happy to drive over to South Australia to take part in the Murray Bridge Women's Tour. The Tour was organised by the Skinny Lattes Cycling Club, a women's specific cycling club based in Adelaide, South Australia.  The Skinny Lattes encourages women from all walks of life, stages, abilities and ages who love to cycle. They are a club that wants to get women back on bikes and in a non-threatening way into racing. The club had decided to open the tour up to Hand Cycles and Trikes, which was fabulous as it gave us another chance to race before our Australian ParaCycling Championships.
My Aussie mum Margo made the drive over with me and it was great to not only have the company on the long drive but to have my own pit crew. I had been offered a house free of charge (thanks Thomas) but it was in Adelaide and about an hours drive from the start of all the races so decided to stay in a motel in Tailem Bend about a 15 minute drive from Murray Bridge.
Margo and I arrived on Thursday evening so that I could have a drive around the courses on the Friday. We went to have a look at the TT and the Road Race courses and after being told that they were flat I was surprised to see that the TT was a constant climb on the way out but a great downhill on the way back. The Criterium, I was told, wouldn't be too bad for trikes, corner wise. But after having a look at it I knew it would be tough on two of the corners as one had a drainage ditch to turn through and the other had an S bend. The Road Race course was undulating and the day we drove it was very windy, so I knew that depending on which way the wind was blowing it would be tough.
The Time Trial was 10.7km in length which is basically the distance I have done in the past but the Road Race was 44km and it was going to be the longest race I had ever done. Usually trikes race no more than 30km, but as I train much further my coach Bec and I decided that I would do the entire course. I was really looking forward to the challenge and I was hoping that even though there were Hand Cycles racing that I would be able to join the women in the Road Race.


Saturday morning dawned not too bad at all, a bit chilly but dry and not much wind to start. That is until we got to the start of the TT. I was the first off with the hand cycles going off after me and then the women in C, B and A grades. By the time I was sent off the wind had picked up and I had to change the way I was going to ride the TT. It was a pretty bad headwind on the way out on the course with a slight climb to the turn around, but when I did turn WOW I had a great tailwind on the way back. I was really happy with the outcome and ended up 9th out 24 starters on 2 wheels. We then had the crit in the afternoon and I went off with the guys on the hand cycles. I must say that they are like bullets and other than 1 rider I ended up doing most of the crit by myself. But it certainly was great training for corners and sprinting out of them, but the weather had turned and we started to have a few drops of rain.  Saturday evening I went back into Murray Bridge and met a number of the riders, volunteers and officials for dinner. It was great meeting some amazing women. 


Sunday morning once at the start of the Road Race I realized that it wasn't going to be an easy one. I was allowed to race with the women and once out of the course we realized that the start was the easiest as we had a really good tailwind with us. I was able to stay with a fairly substantial bunch and when we made our first turn I was sitting on the back of a group of about 9 riders. Some of the A graders had gone further ahead but I stayed with this group until the second turn. This was now into a full on headwind. We had gone about 1km into the wind and I felt that the group was just riding a bit slow, so I made the break coming around them from the back and took off. About 2km up the road 2 riders caught me and then a third, so the 4 of us worked together until I just couldn't keep up the pace and dropped off. A short while later 3 more riders caught me so I sat on the back of them to catch my breath and when I felt better took a turn at the front and dragged them back to one of the riders in front of us. With about 6km to go I couldn't hang on any longer and was dropped. But finishing strongly after the last turn, I was really happy with my race. In fact if there hadn't been a trike category and I was just racing C grade I would have won. It was the best road race I have ever had and it proved to me that the training I have been doing is actually making me much stronger.
As reigning World Champion and Paralympic Gold Medallist they had asked me to present the awards and prize money, which I was honoured to be asked to do.

It was a fabulous weekend with some great racing, I met some fabulous people and having such inclusiveness with inviting Handy cycles and Trikes to race was wonderful. This was the inaugural tour and they will definitely be running it again next year and I will certainly be coming back! If there are any women out there new to cycling and maybe scared of tackling a race this is definitely the tour to come and do and I think most of the new women out there racing this weekend would agree! Thanks Skinny Lattes I'll be back!!

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Murray Bridge Tour Highlights

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Over whelming support was given from all competiting riders who will return the the Murray Bridge Tour next year.  The stunning backdrop of the Murray River at Sturt Reserve as a central hub for the weekend meant that riders, families and supporters were able to relax and mingle during the weekend.  Local recreational riders rode out to the courses each day and cheered all competitors on providing some appreciated sense of occasion.

The Rural City of Murray Bridge turned on perfect conditions for two days of racing which was aimed at our Para athletes and multiple grades for Women, encourging women to jump in and give racing a go.  The inclusive, social nature of the event meant that new friendships were established and that riders from anywhere could turn up and feel instantly welcomed and part of the event.

Sturt Reserve was home to the tour over the two days and courses were based around various local locations. The Event included a 10 km individual Time Trial (the race of truth) and a closed road Criterium (fast intense circuit race) and then on day two a 45km Road Race which headed down towards Lake Alexandrina before pushing back along the undulating course on the return to Martin Road.

Champion of Champions from 2013 Masters Road Racing Championships Leanne Davies NCC and Meriel Custance SLCC were out in A Grade putting in valuable racing kms in preparation for this years National Championships and for Meriel her prepartion for Masters World Championships later this year.  Sarah Allen PACC was not intimidated by these women and threw challenges at them through the course of the event.

New comer to racing Chelsea Parbs CDCC spoke about the wonderful spirit of inculsion at the weekend and that being from another club was not a barrier to supporting this event.  Chelsea who lined up on the weekend in her second only race showed her power and was thrilled with the opportunity to develop skills and racing craft.  During the mass start road race she teamed up with seasoned racer Vicki-Lynne Birks (who was in a higher grade) and was able to work with Vicki picking up valuable pointers along the way.

There were many close finishes across the weekend with riders getting the valuable  opportunity to race within their abilities.  They also had the added bonus when across all grades the riders were given the opportunity to race alongside of Para Olympian Nigel Barley, Para Olympian and Multiple World Champion Carol Cooke, Multiple Masters Track World Champion Vicki-Lynne Birks and Masters Champion of Champions 2013 Leanne Davies and Meriel Custance.

The Skinny Lattes Cycling Club would like to thank The Rural City of Murray Bridge and Burke Urban, without their support this event would not have been possible.

Elbows Akimbo for the last minute attention to bikes between events, The German Cake Shop for keeping us fed and watered in fine style, to Avanti Plus Unley Road for the loan of their van, Mulch 'n' More for providing facilities at the TT, Cycling SA for their support with equipment and to all the officals and volunteers who made this weekend happen.

See you next year.

 

 Birke Urban

 

 

 

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A GRADE REPORT, RESULTS & PHOTOS

B GRADE REPORT, RESULTS & PHOTOS

C GRADE REPORT, RESULTS & PHOTOS

HAND CYCLISTS REPORT, RESULTS & PHOTOS

 

 

Women's Challenge Series - 2013 Report, Results and Photos

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OUR OFFICAL SERIES PARTNERS ARE:

               

     

THANK YOU TO OUR VOLUNTEERS WHO HAVE STOOD IN THE RAIN & COLD THIS WINTER TO SUPPORT WOMEN'S CYCLING.

DAVID BIRKS, KIMBERLEY CONTE, WAL CONTE, NATHALIE JOHNSTONE, JOHN MURRAY, CARROL MORGAN, ALLISON DALLY, KELLY ROBINSON, MARK ROBINSON, ROB FAULKNER, RUSSELL JOHNSTONE, DAVID PRATT, GRAEME ZUCKER, GARETH DAVIES, MICHELLE SPIEL, PHILIP DEVERELL, SHAREE FAULKNER.

Women's Challenge Series Provides Pathways

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It seems that the belief "If you build it they will come" has rung true with a record number of women supporting the 2013 Skinny Lattes Cycling Club's Women's Challenge Series.
Race Director Lynette Collins acknowledges the lessons learnt from interstate clubs like Victoria's St Kilda CC. "St Kilda has been setting the standard for women's grass roots racing for a number of years and has proven that the answer to getting women of all abilities to support competition is that you have to put on multiple grades." The other critical link in this seems to be the importance of mentoring new riders and those new to competition. "It is all about building confidence and pathways" Collins said.
This year's series has been dogged by terrible weather conditions but despite this new riders continue to turn up and support the events. Overall Series Winner, Caroline Wilksch said "that it had been an amazing experience, and I have developed so much". Already Wilksch is planning her next major goal, Masters National Track Championships in Melbourne are looking like the ticket.
The next major event for the club will be the two day Women's Tour in April 2014.


Series Results
Overall Winner: Caroline Wilksch
Most Improved Rider Over Timed Events: Kim Clarke


Red: Leanne Davies 1st, Alissa Byron 2nd, Annabel Cox 3rd.
Yellow: Michelle Crick 1st, Vicki-Lynne Birks 2nd, Janine Mckinnon 3rd.
Blue: Sandra Ladyman 1st, Heather Barclay 2nd, Diane Tattersall 3rd.
Black: Caroline Wilksch 1st, Margaret Warner 2nd, Christine Meijborg 3rd.
Junior: Alison Double 1st, Lauren Schroeder 2nd, Oliver Wheeler 3rd.

 

 

 

  2013 Overall Series winner              2013 Series Most Improved

 Overall Series Winner - Caroline Wilksch            Most Improved Rider Over Timed Events - Kim Clarke

 

 

  2013 Series Junior

  Junior Women A Double 1st, missing L Schroeder 2nd, O Wheeler 3rd

 

 

  2013 Series Black               2013 Series Blue 

  Black: c Meijborg 3rd, C Wilsch 1st, M Warner 2nd                                                            Blue:   H Barclay 2nd, S Ladyman 1st, D Tattersall 3rd

 

 2013 Series Yellow  DSC 0808

 Yellow: J Mckinnon 3rd, M Crick 1st, V Birks 2nd                                Red: A Byron 2nd (missing), L Davies 1st, A Cox 2nd

Series First For SA's Hand Cyclists

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Wondering just how tough athletes with disabilities can be? Check out these pics of our own SA athletes racing Cycling South Australia's first ever Hand Cycling Criterium Series.


A Criterium can be a physical challenge for people who have the benefit of using the power in their legs. So, for a group of 4 South Australian Paracyclists, who all have a spinal cord injury, hand cycling in the Cycling South Australian Hand Cycling Criterium Series was an even greater achievement.
Hand Cycling is a challenging sport based on propelling a handbike with nothing but arm strength. A Paralympic sport, hand cycle racing events take place across Australia, culminating in the international competition of the Paralympic Games. The sport is developing across Australia but rarely is there an opportunity for handcyclists to get together and race. Mass starts races, like criteriums are important as they allow handcyclists to come together and learn the craft of racing.


Sunday morning saw 4 CSA riders take the line at the first of the 4 race series. It was newcomer Amanda Tscharke's first race experience and only the second time she had been on the bike. Amanda drew rave reviews from the crowd and fellow paracyclist Tim Mott, who coached her through the timed event.


World Qualifier Grant Allen, and National Rider and State Champion Brian Moldenhauer took to the course with multi time City to Bay winner, Simon Brockhoff in hot pursuit. The course suited the hand cycles well as the propelled their way through a 30 min blistering pace. Grant crossed the line first, with Brian and then Simon following suit. With the National Hand Cycling series starting up in February, all 3 riders will be focused on what's to come in the next few months.

 www.skinnylattescycling.org.au

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Womens Crit Wraps Up The Series

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LEANNE DAVIES (NCC) KEEPING A WATCHFUL EYE ON EVENTUAL WINNER OF RED GRADE NATALIE REDMOND (SLCC).

The Skinny Lattes Cycling Club's Women's Series achieved its goal on Sunday when 40 women contested graded criterium racing in the heart of Adelaide. The strong focus of this series has been to build skills and confidence in the women and provide a platform for them develop the craft of racing.


Whilst all grades were fiercely contested there has also been a strong spirit of mentoring within the series. Club President Felicity Laing was thrilled with the support the series had received from female riders within South Australia and is already in the thick of planning the clubs Women's Tour in 2014. "It is almost impossible to pick a highlight from today's racing as there were so many riders who turned themselves inside out" Laing said.


Leanne Davies had a clear lead going into the final round of the series and was unbeatable in the Red Grade. Davies, who recently returned from Masters National Championships with a fistful of medals, had a point to make and tried to meet all of the challenges thrown down by the impressive line-up of women. However, Natalie Redmond used her track experience to time her attack and jumped clear to take the win, with Kellie Hards 2nd, taking the bunch sprint from Leanne Davies 3rd.


Wendy Gordon 1st, who had been missing for most of the earlier races, came out early and flagged her intention to win with her persistent attacking. This was finally rewarded and she was able gain a sizeable gap to take out the race in Yellow Grade. Seasoned sprinter Vicki-Lynne Birks 2nd worked to create distance from series leader Michelle Crick 3rd, who had constantly nipped at Birks heels all season. However, whilst Birks dominated the bunch sprint, Crick earned enough points to take out the season win.


Tension was tight across the first four riders in Blue Grade as they were so tightly grouped that they series win could have gone to any of them. First time racer Danielle Stevens was out to test the waters, whilst Ilona Double tried a spirited early break to force the hand of Heather Barclay, Sandra Ladyman and Diane Tattersall. Double's attack was eventually bought back and Barclay 1st timed her escape to perfection to take a clear win from Stevens 2nd and Ladyman 3rd.


With her eye firmly on Masters National Track Championships next year Sharee Faulkner provided strong competition for series leader Caroline Wilksch. Wilksch who was not only leading the Series for the Black Grade but her consistent performance across the entire series saw her dominating the Overall Series Table. Faulkner 1st took the event win from Wilksch 2nd, and Abbey-Leigh Dalton 3rd.


Junior competitor Alison Double was undeterred by the sometimes terrible weather conditions the riders had faced during the series and had amassed an unstoppable lead in the Junior Series. Double looked to keep in check the efforts of Oliver Wheeler 1st, but Wheeler got Double 2nd, on the line from new comer to the sport Emma Seeliger 3rd.

Click here for Hand Cycle Report

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CAROLINE WILKSCH OVERALL SERIES WINNER                           KIM CLARKE MOST IMPROVED RIDER OVER TIMED EVENTS

Points were awarded to each individual grade and  all points were then put into a pool and the highest pointed rider across the series was awarded Series Trophy.

Click here for Criterium Photos

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ONLY ONE POINT SEPERATED THE TOP FOUR PLACINGS IN BLUE GRADE HEADING INTO THE FINAL EVENT.

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 SHAREE FAULKNER SHOWED A STRONG SPRINT TO TAKE OUT THE HONORS IN BLACK GRADE.

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WENDY GORDON'S CONTSANT ATTACKING GAVE HER THE SOLO WIN IN YELLOW GRADE.

 

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LOCAL HAND CYCLISTS COMBINDED WITH SKINNY LATTES FOR THEIR OPENING EVENT IN THEIR SUMMER SERIES.

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K Hards 2nd, N Redmond 1st, L Davies 3rd.                              M Crick 3rd, W Gordon 1st, V Birks 2nd.

 

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C Wilksch 2nd, S Faulkner 1st, A Dalton 3rd                            A Double 2nd, O Wheeler 1st, E Seeliger 3rd

 DSC 0706                       DSC 0641

      G Allen 1st                                                                                           Brian Moldenhavn 2nd  

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A Tscharke                                                                                            Simon Brockhoff 3rd

Skinny Lattes Road Trip to Round the Bay In A Day

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round bay day

Round the bay in a day
Sunday 20th October 2013

Weather's a bit rough today. Wind predicted to be 30knots NW. We had a good start from Geelong with me, Felicity, Lynette, Vicki- Lynne, Belinda, Catriona, and Margaret all from the Skinny Lattes Cycling Club.
Excellent ride to the Ferry at good average speed, dark still conditions with beautiful roads and countryside.
35 kilometres done only 100 to go!
Ferry passage was comfortable and grateful for the ginger tablets from Shemmy.
Leaving the ferry the wind was now in our face and we knew we were in for a tough 100K. Vicky took the lead wheel and I sat in the middle of the bunch appreciating the support and encouragement from all the girls.
Predicted winds of 30 knots were accurate with gusts up to 60 to keep the smile off my face.
Midway to back to Melbourne the hills felt like mountains but a couple of pushes in my back from Lynette kept me going (again much appreciated).
Lunch was perfect timing and I enjoyed a rest and nourishment.
Wasn't sure I would make it to Melbourne but it got much easier after I saw the 20K to go sign.
I wasn't smiling as I crossed the finish line after 5 hours 50 minutes of hard riding on a gusty day but I am very happy that I did it and will be back next year and do it all again. Now that I have done around the bay I have now gained the confidence to have a go at almost anything thanks to the Skinny Lattes.

Lesley Pannowitch

P.S. I learnt so much on the weekend eg when to eat drink, also thinking about my gear selection and looking at the more experienced members of the group and watching for when they changed gears.

 

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Australian Masters Games Delivers for Skinny Lattes

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2013 AMG

"Great experience, fantastic fun, we were a team"  Margaret's reflection upon returning home from the Australian Masters Games.

Great competition in a friendly atomsphere is the hall mark of the Australian Masters Games and it has been the hook that has drawn many Skinny Lattes into the "sport" side of cycling.  

With this in mind three members made the trip across to Geelong to compete in the recent Australian Masters Games, both Abbey-Leigh and Margaret W in the cycling events and Tracey switched back to her first love of running.

All three atheltes have supplied a blog of their experience at the games so take a moment and relive their journey.

Abbey-Leigh

Masters Games in Geelong, was everything I expected it to be! I have competed at the Masters games before in Ballroom and Latin Dancing. The type of competition was very different but the atmosphere very much the same. It was very friendly, supportive and lots of fun!

I was so inspired by everyone there but especially encouraged by the many older competitors. There were greater no.s of competitors in the 60 - 85 yr old groups than the younger 30 - 45 yr groups! I was nervous, because I am really new to cycling.

I arrived for the Time Trial on my own and had to work out where and how to attach the transponder! I had never heard of these until I was given one that morning! Fortunately a couple of guys where warming up near their car parked next to mine and were more than happy to attach it for me. They even pinned my no.s on for me. The race went well despite gale force winds! I suppose that would be why the course of the TT and RR were shared by a Wind Farm!! 

The following day was the RR and once again EXTREME winds made it hard work! It was also freezing cold! But I finished and I was pleased with my average speed. Sat was Crit day and I was very nervous about this having never done one before. I had done some practise in Adelaide so felt a little prepared. I went straight to the sign on area where I was informed that they had changed the direction! So all of a sudden there was a very short and very steep hill to climb each lap! Not my forte'! "At least there was no wind" I thought. My age group was not to take off for another 2.5 hrs though. Just as the group before were doing their final laps the wind picked up fiercely and combined with a nasty hill made for a pretty slow and arduous first Criterium. Certainly no really fast cornering! But once again, I finished and was pleased with my effort. A very successful and positive Masters Games experience!

Cheers

Tracey

My first competitive running event since high school in 1985 was the 8 km cross country at Eastern Park and it was just that - through quite long grass and very undulating terrain.  Not as stable underfoot as my training trails in Belair and I was happy with a PB of 42.41 to take out bronze in the 45-49 year olds in a challenging run.   The low was being about the only South Aussie at the event and only non-athletics club affiliated competitor, however I was made feel very welcome.

My second event was the 10 km road run at Troop Loop in Barwon running pass landmarks including Belmont Common and Barwon Valley Golf Club where I surprisingly was the youngest competitor in the ladies events and won a gold medal.  A highlight was having my daughter Ashleigh there to support and cheer me on. Entries on the day were affected by Melbourne marathon event conflict which was disappointing.

My absolute highlight was competing against Lavinia Petrie in both of my events, not your typical 70 year old and an absolute inspiration. Holder of multiple world records including the fastest ever 100k run by a female, Lavinia broke the 5000m world record earlier in the week after carrying the games flag in the opening ceremony. I also watched Kelly Ruddick anther Aussie World record road walking champion win the 10 km event to claim gold. It was also fabulous to be present to cheer on fellow Skinny Lattes Ab-Fab and Margaret in the criterium cycling events following my run on Saturday and to see them presented with their medals.

The atmosphere and games spirit was magic and I would encourage everyone regardless of age and ability to have a go in 2015 when they return to Adelaide in both the sporting and social events.

 

Margaret W

What a blast, what good fun.

Abbey Leigh and I attended the Geelong Masters Games and proudly wore our Skinny Latte jerseys for every event.  We kept up the tradition of the Lattes cheering loudly for 'our' team.  Go Skinny!! Which actually is in contrast to the other competitors who cheer for their friends as they should but we cheer for our team. We proudly told anyone who wanted to listen that we were a women only cycling team.  I am sure many more women would cycle if they had women only clubs and events and got the encouragement and support we Skinny Lattes get.

There are so many stories from the games.  People who have chemo and turn up for an event and use competition in sport to keep them motivated, active and well.  A netball player who has had two total knee reconstructions who is in the over 60s and when not playing netball competed and got a gold medal in squash.  A competitor in his 60s who rode his bike from Perth to NT and then down to Alice Springs to compete then set out for the eastern states, Tasmania and then across the Nullabor and home.  If you are in your 80s and get on a bike and compete then you have my respect.  Triple by pass just makes them keener and stronger.  These stories and many others you hear tell the story of real heroes.

And then there are us lightweights.  We had an absolute ball.  I started off in the Time Trial so nervous with 4 women in the Category 70-74 and was thrilled to get the gold, To get anywhere in the Road Race would have been a bonus but I got the gold again.  Then doing the criterium around the spectacular gardens and along the bay I managed to get another gold.  Loved the company of Abbey Leigh who got a silver and a bronze medal. What a great competitor and a marvelous ambassador.  The spirit of the games is hard to explain.  Younger women cycling competitors came up to me and expressed their wish that they would still be cycling and competing in their 70s.  If I could claim that I've inspired anyone to keep on riding and enjoying this great sporting event that would be a real win.  I know that if I can do it then anyone can and that is the truth.  Thanks Skinnies for without the wonderful support and encouragement of a women's only cycling group it wouldn't have happened.  Go Skinnies!!

Cheers
Margaret W

Sponsored Cyclist Awards for 2013/2014

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It is with great pleasure that the Skinny Lattes CC announce the winners of the 2013/2014 Sponsored Cyclist Awards – Carla Franson & Kylie McAvaney.



Eight extremely strong applications were received by the club, and Secretary Belinda Bramley said that having agreed criteria to consistently judge the applications against each year was the only way to do this fairly.

The two successful applications this year show the diversity of the riders and their specific needs.  Both women received a $500.00 cheque from the club to assist them with the purchase of equipment or the cost of attending competition.

Carla and Kylie join past award winners, Jessica Mundy, Annette Edmondson, Stephanine Morton and Breanna Hargrave.  We wish them all the best for the coming season.

 carla outfront

 

 

 

 

Kylie McAvaney