Back on track

THE Leongatha Cycling Carnival could roll back into town next year with the Leongatha Chamber of Commerce and Industry leading the charge and meeting next Monday, April 23 to further discuss this plan.

Chamber vice president Anthony Walls said the team was working towards bringing back the once iconic cycling carnival that attracted huge crowds of more than 6000 people to the Leongatha velodrome for 29 years from 1979 to 2007.

Coordinated by Leongatha’s Terry Watchorn, the cycling carnival became one of South Gippsland’s premium events and one of the biggest velodrome events in Australia.

The event attracted 52 world, Commonwealth Games and Olympic gold medallists over the years, including Anna Meares, Shane Kelly, Gary Neiwand, Stephen Pate, Brett Aitken, Scott McGrory and many international riders.

Also around 94 Australian and state champions raced at Leongatha over that period.

The cycling carnival not only attracted many world and Australia’s best cyclists, but was also a huge social event on the Gippsland calendar that saw people travel from all parts of the state to attend.

“We will have the first formal meeting next Monday, April 23 to discuss that further,” Mr Walls said.

“At this stage we are aiming for a return in February 2019, but it may not happen until 2020.”

Collaboration with other community groups and organisations is high also on the chamber committee’s list of priorities.

Mr Walls said the group is already working together with the Rotary Club of Leongatha and is “looking forward to working with more groups and sporting clubs in the future”.

The chamber’s AGM will be held in a few months.

“We have got some really good people who want to put in a lot of time and effort. We are trying to create a really positive feel around the town,” Mr Wall said.

“There are a few new businesses that have recently come to Leongatha and are thriving and have become a great support to the chamber as well.

“We want all the shops filled and all businesses to succeed.”

The chamber is aiming to become the Leongatha Business Association in the coming months, in an effort to give the organisation a fresh start.

Mr Walls said the rebranding became necessary, as people “were, and still are confused as to what the chamber does and what it stands for”.

“We have a new look committee and a lot of new members who are willing to contribute their great ideas,” he said.

“The new name says simply who and what we are. We want to get every business in Leongatha on board, not just retailers.”

The name change will come with a fresh new logo as well.

Mr Walls said the committee is currently working on a membership drive, targeting businesses in and around Leongatha, “with a can do and positive attitude”.

He said the chamber wanted to see as many businesses as possible represented, however because most of the volunteer committee also have family and work commitments, it may take some time.

“If businesses would like to get involved with the chamber, all they need to do is contact us,” he said.

The chamber of commerce subcommittee, Leon Gather Events, continues to strengthen, with some great events already held in the town.

The Live on Lyon event was a success, despite challenging weather and the recent Coco movie fundraiser was a sell out.

Mr Walls said Leon Gather Events was also behind the revamped Daffodil Festival, which is set to be bigger and better again this year, happening on Saturday, September 1.

Moving up: Leongatha Chamber of Commerce and Industry acting treasurer Kristie Walls and vice president Anthony Walls are keen to see the town continue to move forward.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=24694

Posted by on Apr 17 2018. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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