1 November 2006

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North Down Cycling Club Looks to the Future
It was encouraging to see a full clubroom last Wednesday night for the club’s annual general meeting. It was also heartening to experience the feeling of camaraderie which is at the heart of all successful organisations.

Going by the reports, 2005-6 certainly was a tremendously successful year for the club. Once again membership had increased, the racing side had produced numerous championship medals, the recreational aspect had increased dramatically with the traditional touring runs in the local area being supplemented by trips to all parts of the island of Ireland.

In the secretary’s and treasurer’s reports, note was made of our excellent sponsors Aquatech and the Bokhara Restaurant. Sam Craig of Aquatech is a long time member and friend of the North Down Club and the members expressed their appreciation for all that he has done for the club, especially this year. Appreciation was also expressed for the part Jahirul Huqe has played in the social aspect of the club in the 2005-6 year. Not only did he oversee the superb club social occasions, organised by Flo Millar, but he also extended the use of his restaurant in King Street for club meetings

The excellent club spirit was also evident when it came to filling posts on the committee. Harry Adams, who has quite simply been the hub of North Down Cycling Club for the past decade was unanimously elected to the post of chairman. It’s fitting that this unassuming retired schoolteacher should be top of the class, as he has been not only an excellent worker but a first class ambassador as well.

Taking on the position of honorary secretary, which Harry vacated, is another experienced cycling official in the form of Anthony Mitchell. Anthony has been a member of the North Down club for almost thirty years. As a cyclist he had great success, especially as a schoolboy and as an official he has carried on his ethic of hard work. On the macro-level, for example, he is not only the driving force behind the Northern Ireland Cycling Federation, but he is the director of the biggest cycling race in the Province, the Tour of the North.

The other major position on any committee is the treasurer. For more years than any of us care to remember, this position has been filled by Mark Coyle. Thankfully Mark accepted the position again this year, since it would be difficult to find anyone who could carry out the duties with the attitude and spirit which he demonstrates.

There were four volunteers for committee positions and their involvement promises to bring a tremendous depth of experience and expertise to the organisation and running of the club in the incoming year. For example, local businessman, Brian Marshall has returned to the committee after a two-year sabbatical. Brian’s main role will be co-ordinating the largest recreational cycle in the country, the Peninsula Challenge in May.

Joining the committee fore the first time is club stalwart Terry Nicoletti. Terry will concentrate on the burgeoning touring aspect of the club and will, no doubt, bring his own unique flair to the position. Two newcomers joining the committee are Wilf Redshaw and Ciaran Andrews. Wilf has recently settled in Bangor having spent many years in South Africa. He is joined by Ciaran, who is an architect, and along with re-elected former committee members, Keith Millar, Declan Mc Mackin, Alistair Irvine and Tom Henry, will hope to plan and build a successful club.

The Oxford Dictionary defines a club as a number of people who combine or contribute to a common end. It was gratifying to see those sentiments being brought to reality on Wednesday last. Certainly with this attitude and focus the North Down club can not only look forward to a successful 2007, but many years beyond.

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