GIRL POWER PAINTING CAMBRIDGE PINK
This week Cambridge turned pink when Far North Flash, the under 13 girls racing team from Kaitaia led by coach Phil Gibbs, took to the roads of Waikato.
After taking out top spots in the under 19s 30km race at the SRAM Tour de Ranges on Saturday, the girls carried on their cycling road trip to Cambridge to complete their accreditation to race at the Avantidrome.
The girls train regularly together both on Zwift and in real life. They have mastered the roads, become very aware of their environment and most of all they look out for each other.
It’s not just about winning though, its about using cycling to build character for life. Many of these girls come from a background where cycling would never have been possible without their coach Phil (also a teacher at Kaitaia Primary School), believing in them as young people and providing them with opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have. Phil says “I am a coach because of the kids and the passion that I have for the sport itself. There is no other feeling quite like helping young athletes further develop their natural persistence, determination, discipline, dedication, resiliency, work ethic, heart, leadership skills, connection with and respect for others, not only in competition, but in life itself”. That list makes for quite a compelling reason to support your kids in cycling!
Not only does Phil coach the Far North Flash team, he also fundraises and personally funds most of the girls racing expenses himself. He travels with them all over NZ from Kaitaia, with their most recent road trip being Cambridge. Here they have successfully completed their Avantidrome accreditation to race, become UCI registered racers, been inspired by our local champions and in turn inspired a couple of our younger girls, Mya and Alyssa, who had an opportunity to ride alongside the girls in pink. Mya says “the ride was really fun, and really really fast!”. Alyssa says “the girls are really awesome, I made some new friends and pink is really cool”. Local Cambridge people have generously offered support to the Far North Flash girls, including the Podium Lodge who kindly sponsored accommodation and New World Tokoroa sponsoring a food package. Phil says “I’m humbled by the welcome that we’ve had from Cambridge, the words of encouragement and support offered to the girls, and by the local people we’ve met here”.
It’s approximately 6 hours for the team to travel from Kaitaia to Cambridge for Avantidrome track racing, but there is no doubt Phil will be bringing the Far North Flash girls back to paint Cambridge PINK with girl power again soon. After all, Cambridge is the Home of Champions.
More information about Far North Flash under 13 girls cycling team can be found at: www.farnorthflash.com/the-team and you can follow Far North Flash Kaitaia on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/farnorthflash.kaitaia. To make a donation towards the girls racing and travelling costs visit: https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/helpfarnorthflashyouth