Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I spoke with Gary Gibson, Wellington Velodrome Junior Coach, moments ago and he was “shocked and surprised” to have just won both the SPARC Regional Coach of the Year AND the General Coach of the Year. He believes the key to his success was, “Having such a lovely bunch of kids to coach”.

Gary is one of the Port Nicholson Poneke Cycling Clubs prized volunteer coaches and spends countless hours at the Velodrome and researching and planning his sessions at home. Gary already has plans to display his accolade, “It’s going to given pride of place in the track clubrooms”.

Athletes and parents provided an exhaustive amount of quotes to support Gary’s nomination.

“Gary has helped develop my track ability and nurture my passion for track. Every track session is the highlight of my week, and Gary ensures every one is worthwhile and makes me leave keenly anticipating the next session. His level of commitment goes beyond what most would be prepared to do”, Beth Balmer, School Sport Road bronze medallist said.

“Gary is funny he makes me laugh sometimes when he is teaching me stuff. He helped me and my friends learn to ride our bikes better and he helped me when I was scared at riding on the track. He tells us off sometimes but doesn't get grumpy. He is also my friend even though he is old.”, Victoria Ngatuere, U13 track rider said.

One winner from each region will win travel, accommodation and entry to SPARC’s national coaching convention in May 2010, where the winners will learn from and mingle with high profile regional and national coaches. Winning coaches from each region will also receive coaching apparel from SPARC and a generous supply of Wattie’s products. Gary said the juniors better hope it’s not baked beans but thinks the prizes are very generous and is elated to be recognised.

Gary is not paid but receives a huge amount from volunteering and often can't wait to tell me about the juniors achievements. Gary is a modest guy but is rightly chuffed to recieve this award and I'm sure the juniors would treat him like a hero.

On behalf of Mark Coburn and I from Track Committee and the PNP Cycling Club congratulations to our tireless volunteer coach Gary, who we are very proud of.

Rachel Anderson-Smith
Convenor, Track Committee
PNP Cycling Club
Ph: 0274039742

Gary also works with Peter Reynolds at Cogcycling.