Three inspirational Georges River track cycling athletes will represent Australia and compete in this year’s Paralympic and Olympic games in Japan, thanks to a combined effort of support by Georges River Council and NSW Government.
Local residents and world champions Kaarle McCulloch and Ashlee Ankudinoff will join the 15 strong national track cycling team to compete in the Olympics, from 23 July to 8 August 2021; multiple world champion Amanda Reid in the Paralympics, from 24 August to 5 September in Tokyo.
With 43 Olympics and Commonwealth Games medals up their sleeves, the trio are amongst more than 100 St George Cycling Club riders that raced into history books, having represented their country, trained and raced at iconic local training grounds – Hurstville Oval velodrome and Oatley Park.
The velodrome in Hurstville was used as a bike track from the 1920’s, where Dunc Gray trained to win Australia’s first Olympic cycling gold medal in 1932. Since 1956 Melbourne Olympics, St George Cycling as the most powerful club in Australia, has represented the nation at every Olympic and Commonwealth Games.
Ms McCulloch, Ankudinoff and Reid train three days a week at St George cycling facilities in Hurstville and Oatley, and two days in the gym working their fitness, strength and technical aspects.
With $79,000 financial support from Georges River Council and additional $100,000 through NSW Government’s Stronger Community funding and support, the training tracks were given a major overhaul and resurface, making it possible and safe for high-speed top athletes to train and compete.
Mr Phill Bates AM, long standing administrator of St George Cycling and NSW and Australian Cycling said, “The funding support was a lifeline to the Club and has made it possible to continue to develop new talent who will also go on to represent their country or just improve their lifestyle. It is a cycling velodrome accessible to all.”
Georges River Mayor Kevin Greene said, “Our elite athletes are our national pride for all Australians.
“Competing at the Olympics and Paralympic Games is the pinnacle of every athlete’s sporting dreams.
“We are proud to support our local sportspersons as they make their final preparations for the Games.
“It is a tremendous honour for these athletes to represent our country and our local community. I am sure the entire Georges River will join me in wishing them well in Tokyo.”
Thirty-three year-old Kaarle McCulloch said, “I am proud to call Georges River home.
“St George Cycling Club is renowned for helping talented athletes transition to international level through great coaching and facilities.
“When I return from national team bases in Adelaide and Brisbane, I am confident that I will return home to a top standard training environment and a team that can prepare me for future Olympics.”
Georges River Council and NSW Government committed nearly $20 million in grants through community and major project programs to support businesses, cultural organisations, community groups and local infrastructure that demonstrate social, economic and sustainability benefits to the local area.