Randwick Botany Cycling Club

Located in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. Everyone is welcome to join our Friday Coffee Ride!


history-Botany-cyclist-turn-centuryThe Botany Amateur Cycling Club was first affiliated with the then Cycling Union in 1903. Left is a picture of Botany members around the turn of the century.

The Club’s headquarters, at that time, were located at the Ascot Cycle shop at the corner of Botany Road and King Street Mascot.

Alf Bridges was the first Club Captain. Cyclists gathered outside Thornton’s Newmarket Hotel on the corner of Botany Road and Gardeners Road on Saturdays. This is where club races started and finished. Races were conducted through the streets of Botany and took in roads including Botany Road, Gardeners Road and Bunnerong Road. The races passed such landmarks as the Roseberry Racecourse and Matraville School. The old Botany tram colours of half green and half white were adopted as the club colours. Ascot Cycling Shop in King Street, Mascot was a supporter of the club in the early years. The club’s colours later changed to maroon, white and blue during the 1950’s and eventually evolved into the current colours of today being red, white and blue. Club members competed in major events including the Sydney to Goulburn Road Race from 1914. R. J. Heffron, Premier of NSW, was a patron of the club. Our track at Heffron Park Maroubra is named after him.

history-Snowy-on-bikeOne of the longest members of our Cycling Club was Alfred C “Snowy” Wilson (pictured right, 1917) who was a member of the club for most of his life, first as a rider and later as coach, handicapper and Secretary.

In fact Snowy was the longest serving Executive member of the club performing the role of Secretary for twenty six straight years from 1917 onwards. We honour Snowy each year by holding our senior open in his honour, the Snowy Wilson Memorial.

Pictured below Snowy with fellow club member and handicapper, Snowy’s son-in-law, Aub Gilbert. Snowy passed away in 1968 aged 70 years.

history-Snowy-&-AubIn 1976, tragically, a fatality occurred during a club race on Anzac Parade at Maroubra. The members realised that the ever increasing numbers of motor vehicles had made racing on the public streets very dangerous. As a result of this the Executive of the club approached the Randwick Council and a deal was struck whereby the club changed its name to the Randwick Botany Cycling Club and obtained the use of Heffron Park Maroubra for the holding of club races. It was not long after that that the club obtained permission to build the clubhouse under the grandstand of the Heffron Park swimming pool and the club has remained at this location to the present date.

The club has produced many State, National and even Olympic champions. One of the club’s most accomplished cyclists was Richard Paris. He won the State 1,000 metre time trial and 4000 metre pursuit championship several times in succession. He was selected to represent New South Wales at the Australian Titles and became national champion in these events. In 1964 Dick was selected to represent Australia at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Other Randwick Botany Olympians included Graham Sears who competed at the Moscow Olympics in 1980 and Julie Speight who was the first Australian woman to compete at an international track championship and finished 5th at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

In 1999 the club had approximately 90 members. Our membership has been growing steadily since then and currently we have approximately 150 members including a strong veteran component. From 1997 to the present there have been many State Title winners and medallists in the veteran category including Tanya Bosche, Gai Cridland, Brian Martin, Chris White and John Buckton, all of whom were between 40 and 50 years old.

The club is the only club in the eastern zone which caters for junior riders and currently have approximately 45 junior members whose ages range from 7 years to 16 years of age. From 1994 to 1997 one of our juniors, Shaun Hoskings was a multiple State title winner and National medalist in the Under 15 and Under 17 Junior divisions. In 1998, Alex Sommer took over from Shaun and he also, between 1998 to 2000, was a multiple State title holder and National medallist. In 2000, two of junior riders, Luke Cridland and Kate Buckton were both State track medallists and were both selected to represent their club at the National road titles in Tasmania in 2000. Luke won a Silver and Bronze medal at the 2001 State track titles at the Dunc Gray Olympic velodrome and was selected to represent NSW at the National Track Titles in Brisbane. 2002 has seen the club with 3 new State champions. Shaun Higgerson won the Under 19’s Mens NSW Hill climb championships. Amy Eager won the Under 19’s Womens NSW Hill climb championships and Britney Orr won the Under 17’s Womens NSW Hill climb championships. So far 2003 has seen two cyclists named as NSW cyclists of the year (for 2002) in their age category. Brittany Orr was named Junior Under 17 Women Cyclist of the year and Chris White was named Masters 5 Cyclist of the year. We had two new State Champions in 2003. Chris White in the Masters 5 Individual Pursuit and John Buckton in the Masters 4 Individual Pursuit. In 2004 Janelle Lindsay in company with Lindy Hou won an Olympic gold medal in the 2004 Paralympic games in Athens.

We have had numerous State and National medals in the years from 2004 onwards and in March 2010, 2 of our members pulled on “Rainbow Jerseys” having become UCI World Masters Track champions. Gavin White in the Masters 2 events and Ian Aitken in the Masters 5 event with John Collette getting the silver medal in the Masters 4 events.

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