McKenzie on track to inspire young cyclists

Invercargill-based New Zealand track cyclist Steph McKenzie is looking forward to providing some inspiration for those suffering from diabetes after signing with Danish-based cycling outfit Team Novo Nordisk.

While the organisation is fronted by a professional men's cycling team which includes only riders who have diabetes, it also has about 100 athletes in a range of sports around the world who help to educate, empower and inspire people with the disease.

McKenzie, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was eight-years-old, has spent the past couple of weeks meeting her new team mates during a training camp in Spain, but returns to New Zealand for the summer tomorrow.

While McKenzie will remain part of the BikeNZ women's sprint programme, she will try and promote Novo Nordisk, which was previously known as Team Type 1, where possible.

"Since becoming a part of this team it has made me more determined to motivate other people that have diabetes, especially children," McKenzie told

"People that have diabetes are scared to participate in physical excercise because they have that fear of hypoglycemia, but doing exercise as a diabetic is one of the best 'medicines' out there to keep them healthy and under control. I also think we can inspire people that do not have diabetes - if they see us riding and producing results this should give them motivation to get out there and set a goal and achieve that goal."

McKenzie has graduated to the senior ranks after an impressive junior career which included three medals at the 2011 world championships.

The Southland Times