Up and coming Chch track cyclist sets course for Cairo

Charlotte Spurway is one of six Cantabrians who will represent NZ in Cairo, Egypt, this year....
Charlotte Spurway is one of six Cantabrians who will represent NZ in Cairo, Egypt, this year. Photo: Supplied
At the beginning of last year, young Christchurch rider Charlotte Spurway made a bold decision to give track cycling a go.

One year later, the year 13 Rangi Ruru Girls’ School student has been selected in the 13-strong New Zealand track cycling team for the world championships in Egypt in August.

This is the first time the UCI junior track world championships will be held in the Middle East at the newly-constructed velodrome in Cairo.

The 16-year-old said it all happened "pretty quickly" - but was excited for the new challenge ahead.

“I was so excited when I found out, especially being able to work with the team over the year coming. We all get on really well,” she said.

“It will definitely be a new experience for all of us, and probably the first time we’ll all ride our bikes in a place like that.”

Charlotte Spurway. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Charlotte Spurway. Photo: Geoff Sloan
Charlotte has always had an avid interest in sports, coming from a family that loved to travel, surf and dive.

She moved to Christchurch nine years ago, originally from Brisbane.

“I’ve done sport for as long as I can remember, it’s just been a part of me. And then when I came to Rangi in year 9, I started school cycling,” said Charlotte.

“I started doing weekly racing and I just love the sport, there’s a really cool community in it. And then in the beginning of last year, I decided to try out track cycling and since then it’s brought me to where I am today.”

Charlotte was one of six Cantabrians to make the team with Jenna Borthwick (Lincoln High School), Mikaela Grant (Villa Maria), Laurence Pithie (ex-Christchurch Boys’ High School), Ryan McLeod (CBHS), and Sebastian Lipp (Catholic Cathedral College) also selected, based on excellent performances at the Oceania championships in October and New Zealand championships last month.

Said Charlotte: “It’s really cool that six of us are Cantabrians, especially when we’ve only got an outdoor, concrete track here in Christchurch compared to other places with indoor centres.”

Denton Park Oval is the city’s only velodrome.

In New Zealand, there are two indoor velodromes located in Invercargill and Cambridge. Plans of an indoor centre for Christchurch have been discussed for years, but to no avail.

“I can’t imagine what Canterbury can achieve if we get an indoor velodrome.”

Charlotte trains 13 hours a week, while juggling school work, having a social life and other responsibilities and obligations, but she does not let the pressure get to her.

"I think it’s quite manageable.

"We’ve all got time in our day as long as you’re getting down and doing it as soon as you can and staying on task, especially with the hours you’re given at school.”

The young cyclist hopes to join the elite programme after high school and has the potential to head to worlds again in 2021 while still being an under-19 rider. But in the meantime, more hard work is in store.

"Remembering your support network is always really important. I couldn’t have got to where I am today without the support of my family, friends, the Christchurch school cycling and Canterbury track communities," Charlotte said.

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