Commonwealth Games boost sports

Colac’s up-and-coming cyclists Ty Widdicombe, Adam McCarney, Kate Allan and Rupert McDonald celebrate cyclist Anna Meares’ gold medal at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Colac’s up-and-coming cyclists Ty Widdicombe, Adam McCarney, Kate Allan and Rupert McDonald celebrate cyclist Anna Meares’ gold medal at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

COLAC swimming and cycling officials say the Commonwealth Games might boost the sports’ profiles.

Colac Cycling Club official Lee Allan said the Glasgow games is one of the rare times the sport received exposure on a national scale.

“It doesn’t get the publicity I think it deserves,” she said.

Allan said opening ceremony flag bearer Anna Meares set a good example for young cyclists and newcomers.

“When you have people like Anna Meares, she’s a great role model and the fact she was flag bearer is a great testament to her,” she said.

“I met her at fitness expo and I went down for the purpose of meeting her, and she was really humbled when I said to her, I actually say to my daughter you could be the next Anna Meares.

“She’s all about encouraging kids to get into the sport and to see her on the track and other cyclists as well, it gets kids encouraged and wanting to have a go.”

Colac Swimming Club president Andrew Walters said Colac’s pool was out of action, but the attention swimmers received at Commonwealth Games boosted the sport’s profile.

“It’s a little bit hard with the pool being shut to get a gauge, ideally you’d have a bit of a membership push, but certainly the kids that swim already would take an interest,” he said.

“But it’s of interest to everyone regardless of if they swim or not, the guys like Magnussen, it gets a bit of a following.”

But Corangamite Bowls Division ladies chairwoman Barbara Hallyburton said it was disappointing lawn bowls, which had been in every Commonwealth Games since 1930 except the Kingston games in 1966, failed to receive more attention.

Hallyburton said the amount of participants in the sport should result in more coverage.

“It’s not as put out as it should be, it shouldn’t be a minor sport at Glasgow, but it tends to get pushed into the background with swimming and cycling and everything else, because the people that are in it aren’t known like Sally Pearson and Anna Meares,” she said.

“As a sport it’s not given enough exposure, it’s been taken off the ABC and if you chase around Foxtel you get a little bit, but it’s late at night.

“People don’t see it as a high-profile sport, but a heck of a lot of people play it.”

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