Manawatū mountain bikers pedal to the top
The Manawatū Mountain Bike Club has powered its way to the supreme award at the annual Palmerston North Trustpower Community Awards.
Trustpower spokeswoman Teresa Partridge said the club's list of activities, events and achievements was wide, while the overall community impact of the 800-member club was huge.
The mountain bikers joined 12 other community groups and six youth community spirit finalists for the awards, held in Palmerston North's Conference and Function Centre on Wednesday.
Club treasurer Peter Wells said while the 20 kilometres of trails developed largely by volunteers over the past five years in Arapuke Forest Park were the club's crowning achievement, it was its on-going development programmes that played a significant role in activities.
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"Our two eight-week summer mountain bike skills development programmes were free of charge to members and the general public, with up to 170 taking part each evening," Wells said.
"As well as Arapuke, we've developed trails at Foxton and Raumai in Bulls. We're working with the council at Panieri Park and along the riverbank cycle path, so we're right throughout the community."
Among club events during the year were the Kahuterawa Challenge, Santoft Sizzler and the Summer and Winter race series.
Club president Tom Bamfield said the club boasted an active membership and he estimated that during the year they had put in about 2000 hours of volunteer work on the trails and into the development programme.
"There's plenty of breadth from running development, recreational and competitive events to making trails. That's what impresses me about the club - the core of people who turn up to run these things."
Bamfield said the club had raised about $200,000 in the past two years, mainly for track development, and was grateful to the city council for helping with additional funding and for facilitating club projects.
On behalf of the club, Bamfield accepted the $1500 prize, a framed certificate and a trophy. The club will represent Palmerston North at the 2017 Trustpower National Community Awards in Queenstown next April.
Palmerston North Trustpower Community Award category winners:
- Youth Spirit Award - Teuila Nosa, Awatapu College
- Heritage and Environment - Pit Park People
- Health and Wellbeing - Just Zilch
- Arts and Culture - Creative Sounds Society's the Stomach
- Sport and Leisure - Palmy Dirty 30/Palmy Rocks
- Education and Child/Youth Development - Papaiōea Pasifika Community