By Melissa Sheil
OLDER cyclists from all around Australia will flock to Kalamunda this October, as the City was announced as a host for the newest leg of the 2021 Australian Masters Games (AMG).
Though the AMG is now celebrating its 18th year, 2021 is only the second time Perth has hosted, and the first-time cycling has been added to the roster.
With entry restricted to those aged 30 and above, the Games celebrate mass participation from those of all skill levels, creating opportunity for those like 53-year-old Angie McRobbie to give it a shot.
“I’m thrilled the Games are in the hills this year, I’ve never been able to enter before and it’s a cycling mecca,” she said.
“The AMG gives everyone a chance to get in there, because the younger ones tend to zoom pass and the older riders get left behind.
“Even though the Games are generally more social, I’m sure we will all be fierce competition for each other.
“All good fun though.”
The five categories for entry are divided by gender and age, with brackets for those aged 30 to 39, 40 to 49, 50 to 59, 60 to 69, and 70 plus.
AMG cycling race director Chris Thompson says the City of Kalamunda was the logical choice of venue for the road racing events.
“Kalamunda offers the best riding experience in the Perth region and is rapidly developing into a major hub for cycling that continually attracts large numbers across the various riding disciplines,” he said.
“The rolling terrain, low traffic volume roads and scenic backdrop provide the opportunity to present courses that are ideal for a championship event.
“It is fitting that the City of Kalamunda will host this key discipline of cycling so the great features of the region can be showcased to a broad audience.
“Creating more event opportunities in this popular area is always on the agenda for cycling organisations and clubs, especially in light of the current difficulties faced by the sport in securing suitable venues and courses anywhere in the state.”
The three races – the Criterium, the Road Race and Time Trials – will be held across the City, covering the Kalamunda town centre, outskirts and Pickering Brook.
Mayor Margaret Thomas says the Games will enliven the City’s tourism industry as a part of the sporting playground.
“We are very pleased to be able to support the Australian Masters Games – I have already heard of some locals who are planning to participate, and we know that it will bring many people to see the magic of the City of Kalamunda,” she said.
“The region is very popular with cyclists – both on road and also with mountain bikers, and this event will showcase the picturesque Perth Hills, with benefits for local business and the economy.
“Tourism is an important part of life in the City of Kalamunda and by sharing what makes us unique with others we ensure a vibrant, sustainable community for the future.”
Kalamunda Council decided to re-allocate $10,000 of funding intended for the now-cancelled Kalamunda show to sponsor the cycling event.
Other events of the 2021 Australian Masters Games occurring in the Echo News readership include the Rugby Union competition at Kalamunda Rugby Club, archery at the WA Archery Centre in Whiteman, shooting at Whiteman Park International Shooting Complex and golf at The Vines Golf and Country Club.
The AMG will run from October 9 to 16 across Perth.
For more information visit www.australianmastersgames.com