Hamish wants to make a sprinting splash

When it came to choosing a sport, everything pointed to cycling for Hamish Beadle.

It's in his family's blood and it didn't take long for the plucky and determined youngster to catch the cycling bug.

Beadle's father Dave is a hard-working junior coach and selector with Cycling Southland while his older brother Tom last year represented New Zealand on the track at the Junior World Championships in Invercargill.

The 14-year-old has followed and, like Tom, he too wants to make a splash as a sprinter and is setting his sights high.

When asked what races he loves riding he said, "500m TT, individual sprints, all those events".

And where would he one day like to end up?

"I want to be a professional sprinter and maybe go to the Olympics and worlds, that would be pretty cool."

Beadle will be one of 65 young Southlanders who this week will take part in the New Zealand age-group track championships at the Invercargill Velodrome, starting today.

Southland's representation is well ahead of the next largest group, 30 Canterbury riders who will line up in the event.

Despite being just 14, the James Hargest College pupil will compete in the under-17 category, an age-group he knows will be a challenge.

"I'll be riding with the second years, so it'll be hard and fast."

Cycling Southland coaching co-ordinator Dale Tye said Beadle was part of a promising group of under-17 boys.

"They are a really good bunch of kids, both talent-wise and socially, it's a great little training group," she said.

"Hamish is a lot like his brother Tom, that he could be either [sprint or endurance] if he wanted to - that's pretty exciting."

The Southland Times