African Wildlife Safaris Cycling Team
For Immediate release
Tuesday 20th October 2015
Melbourne, Australia – It is with sadness and regret that the African Wildlife Safaris Cycling Team announces that it will not at this point in time be racing in 2016. To dispel any rumours in the cycling world, the team will continue racing and honour its sponsorship commitments until the end December 2015, and is winding down gracefully.
The team was set up by Steve Cameron and Steve Waite in 2012 with financial sponsorship from African Wildlife Safaris. It started fairly small, with the ambition of contributing to cycling in Australia and helping young cyclists learn and race in the National Road Series (NRS). However the team quickly went front strength to strength and we urgently needed another major sponsor to provide funding for more races, transportation and team support. The plan was to search for a major National or International sponsor to enable the team to grow into one of the best funded and operated teams in Australia and the Asian region. African Wildlife Safaris Cycling Team also wanted to be able to pay riders and staff and to not rely totally on volunteerism. Steve Cameron, CEO of African Wildlife Safaris committed to a 4th year of sponsorship in the hope that we would be able to secure a major sponsor. Despite being close to finding a major sponsor at various stages, the team has been unable to secure such a sponsor. Unfortunately this seems to be the typical scenario of most cycling teams, even in the pro ranks, for a variety of reasons.
Steve Waite, as many of you know is cycling through and through. Steve has worked in the industry for many years and still has ambitions of finding a major sponsor to continue the team and also to further develop young riders. Steve has all the skills and experience required to achieve this, and if anyone would like to contact Steve to discuss possibilities further you can private message him though either the team facebook page or his own page.
In its 4 years, the African Wildlife Safaris Cycling Team has become one of the most successful teams in the country. Ironically in this, our last season, we are ranked 3rd on the NRS Teams, and we have the number two ranked rider in the NRS in Michael Schweizer. And we have the defending champion for next Saturday’s Grafton to Inverell in Sean Lake.
The volunteer time involved in running a team on a tight budget for 4 years is an unsustainable model. The personal time committed by both Steve Cameron and Steven Waite has been immense.
We would encourage any Corporates and people committed to cycling, including parents, to get behind the teams competing in 2016 and give them your support. Most are in the same position we are.
Steve Cameron and Steven Waite would like to thank all the people who have been involved with the team over the past 4 years. In particular we would like to thank all our sponsors over the past 4 years including our key 2016 sponsors, being African Wildlife Safaris for their cash sponsorship, Schwalbe, Monza Imports and their various sporting brands, including but not limited to Cannondale, fi’zi:k, Enve and SRAM. We would also like to thank Airport Toyota for the stunning vehicles we have been able to use this year and to Tyson Chambers at Mr Mister for his support. There are a number of other sponsors to thank, all of whom appear on the African Wildlife Safaris website (cycling page).
A special thanks to our 2016 riders whose hard work, talent and commitment have helped make the team a great success this year, and we wish them well in the future.
We would like to thank all our team support during 2016, including in particular Matt Excell, Angus McDowell and Anthony Norwood. A special thanks to Gabe and Arran at Urban Pedaler for the use of their workshop and storage facilities. Also our thanks to Joel Pearson; our DS during 2013 & 2014 and Will Walker for his mentoring role this year.
Thanks to the various parents who have helped us over the past 4 years. We encourage all behinds to get behind their sons (and daughters), visit the events where you can and give them your full support. As we all know cycling is a seriously tough sport and the riders value your participation.
Watch this Space
Finally we would ask you to continue to watch this space. We have the Grafton to Inverell this weekend. On Sunday 8th November we will be participating in the inaugural Airport Toyota Ride to the Divide and Criterium. There will also be other participation in the various MCL and SKCC criteriums, as well as club racing.
Over the next few weeks we will also let you know where our 2015 riders are headed.
And finally, we will have a range of bikes, wheels, cycling kit from 2015 and prior years and various other bits and pieces to sell as we head towards the end of the year. Keep an eye on our facebook page and you could be able to secure some fantastic deals.
Thank you to all the people who have liked our facebook page and have spread the word about the team.
Steve Cameron and Steven Waite