Monday, 24 November 2008

Women's Omnium Champs

Caitlin, Anna, and the card!

This morning, I’m sitting at my desk, wondering what the hell I’m doing at work. It was a big weekend, and I’m still paying for it. The highlight of the weekend was the Women’s State Omnium Championships yesterday. This was the first time this event had run in Victoria, and in the country (I think), and one of the largest turn outs of women at a Victorian track racing meet.

The standouts for me were:

  • The quality of the racing across all levels. Everyone raced 110% in each event, so much so, that hardened commissaires were commenting on how hard and fast, and exciting (yes, women’s racing can be exciting!!) the racing was.
  • The atmosphere. The camaraderie was brilliant. The lack of complaints and bitching was noticeable, with people making comments about the lack of comments! I do believe that everyone wanted to make this event work, and committed themselves to doing just that. And I’m not talking only about the officials, but also the competitors and their supporters, and the sponsors.
  • Anna Meares. A very gracious and giving woman who freely and willingly spent a good hour or more talking to everyone, particularly the junior girls. She made shy nervous requests for autographs very normal (well, I guess for her they are!) and made the requester feel at ease. A pro, and a pleasure to work with. Caitie Coach presented Anna with a card she had made (there is a long story to this card!) and Anna willingly spent the time to talk with Caitlin, and then kept hold of that card for the entire time she was with us.
  • Proman Racing. Three girls from the team (Cari Higgins, Shelley Olds and team owner/manager Nicola Cranmer) came down for a look, so I roped them into handing out the medals at the end of the event. They very graciously accepted, and added a bit of PRO to the event. They were excited by the racing and hopefully we’ll be able to link up with them next year to take the event to the next level in terms of competition and recognition. Thanks girls for coming down and for doing presentation duties. The medallists were all stoked and the podium tips went down a treat.
  • The loot!! Caroline did an awesome job organising sponsors, who came to the party with some fantastic loot for the medallists. Normally in a state championship event, you go home with a medal and that’s it. The medallists yesterday got a stack of goodies as well, which just added to the specialness of the day.
  • The number of thank yous, yes, thank yous I and the other Committee members received, from parents, supporters and competitors for putting the event on. That really blew me away. It made me realise how important the event was, as a stand alone women’s event. All the hard work and crap involved with getting it up and running was well and truly worth it, and a few of us are already planning for next year.
It was an opportunity to showcase the best of women's track racing, and to showcase the female cycling community, to the wider cycling community, and that was achieved with overwhelming success. Congratulations to everyone involved.


Penny said...

Hi Lawrence.
I had a great day (as Judge/Timekeeper) at the Women's Omnium yesterday, and I learnt a lot - especially how the points work, and how they wanted the pursuits timing done. (I was the yeller of "green" and "red" to Julie, while she worried about the complicated timing with her very "bling" stopwatch.)
As for the Elite Women's points race - I got too confused on who was on the same lap as the breakaway!!!
Hopefully next year I'll be confident enough on the boards to compete myself, as I'm getting better all the time ... even if I still haven't mastered the dreaded starting-from-the-fence! Fingers crossed the weather is good on Thursday, so we can finally practice starts.

Lawrence said...

Penny, thanks for helping out and I'm glad you had a great day! The racing was excellent and exciting to watch.

Anonymous said...

Hey Weed, Caitie Coach looks so cute. Looks like the cycling career is never going to happen(lucky me), been asked to train with Kilsyth Cobra's Under 10 basketball team. Congrats on a great day, all your effort (and others) paid off. Mrs Coach.

Lawrence said...

Mrs Coach, we'll get you back over to the dark side sooner or later. It's a great photo!