Suzy Hadley Handicap
Suzie Hadley was a long-time member of Hunter District Cycling Club, having her first race at about 10 years of age in 1983. She also raced extensively with Hunter Valley Vets. She was extremely popular on and off the bike, could handle a big bunch with ease and was able to achieve major climbs in Europe like Alpe d’Huez.
Her enthusiasm was infectious and she always had a smile on her face. Despite intermittent heart palpitations, she continued to enjoy her bike riding and she actually ran 3rd in a race at Kooragang the day before she passed.
Her death in October 2007 left a huge void in the Hadley family. The attendance of over 500 people at her funeral was testament to her popularity. We know that those who knew Suzie will spend a little time reflecting on the memorial race day and those who didn’t know her will understand how special this race is to the family.
The Suzie Hadley memorial handicap event is held every year by our club in her memory.
Walker Walpole Handicap
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Bob Markwell Handicap
Bob, tragically passed away on the 11 th April, 2014. He was on a morning training ride at Fishing Point, when a car came out in front of him. The resulting collision severed his spinal cord.
He was 74 at the time. Bob always enjoyed cycling in his youth and began racing in 1985. In 1986, as a police sergeant, he represented Australia in the Police Olympics in Sydney. He received medals in several events.
Bob moved from Sydney to Wangi Wangi in 1996 and became a member of Kooragang Open Cycling Club shortly after.
Bob loved to participate in both the KOCC as well as the Central Division races, and had been a KOCC Commissaire. He was always willing to assist and encourage new riders.
Bob had other interests. He was an avid gardener and had a passion and talent for reciting bush poetry. He won the “Man
from Snowy River Poetry Recital Competition”, in Corryong Victoria.
Bob will always be remembered to us as a gentleman.
Sandford Chaston Handicap
Jim Sandford was a rider born in the 30’s. He raced in the Newcastle league of wheelmen and was considered one of the better professional riders in Newcastle’s history. Jim was one of the original “professionals” in Newcastle.
In his older years he ran major open events at Newcastle Velodrome with Col Chaston. He also promoted and ran the local club track Cycling in Newcastle for 10 years. Jim went on to run the Hornsby to Swansea road Race a major event on the Australian calendar and he also started the HVM Cycling Club and is a foundation member.
Col was from a similar back ground, he was a little older. He was a key player in the promotion of track Cycling in Newcastle running major events when track was the main racing happening in Newcastle.
Col and Jim were the driving force that established and later resurrected the Adamstown velodrome.
trophy in 2016 (aged 93).
Sydney Sports Arena in 1946.
lining up for a race at Stockton around 1980.
Murray Walker Handicap
Murray Walker was Hunter District Cycling Club’s popular Champion until his untimely death in 1972. His laconic, laid back exterior hid a tough and determined attitude to achieve. He was everyone’s friend and went out of his way to help people in all walks of life.
Murray was also a fierce competitor as shown by many cycling wins and cycling records. Murray won the King of The Mountains competition in the prestigious Dulux Tour of New Zealand and was regularly a highly regarded “A” grade competitor in NSW races.
He always rode in his local Club races for Hunter District and actively nurtured newer and younger riders, showing that he was still grounded despite his tremendous successes on a wider stage.
In the early 1970’s Murray turned to attempting to break long distance cycling records and after many years and many miles of training Murray broke 2 long standing records previously held by Australia’s famous cyclist Sir Hubert Opperman. First record to go was Newcastle – Sydney – Newcastle, and with that success Murray trained harder and then broke the Brisbane to Sydney record.
Murray had opened a bike shop in Wallsend and was working hard towards a successful business when he was lost to a road accident, leaving behind a wife and 2 young daughters.
Club and other local riders have competed for an annual trophy in his honour, the “Murray Walker Memorial” and this race keeps his memory alive.
Mick Chapman Criterium
Mick Chapman was cycling through and through.
He was a competitive cyclist and won State and Country titles during his competitive career. Mick was an integral part of cycling over many, many years. But his passion was coaching and Mick accompanied many successful NSW teams to National Championships: He was the Head Cycling Coach at the Hunter Academy of Sport (a position he held since the Academy’s inception) and President of the Hunter District Cycling Club (where he served in many capacities over several years). He was also a National Commissaire and one of Australia’s top Level 3 coaches.
Mick’s coaching talents were instrumental in the development of 2004 Olympian Olivia Gollan. As a coach, he was a forward thinker, a tough disciplinarian and a shrewd mentor. Mick just knew what was required to take a rider to the next level.
Mick suffered from heart disease but didn’t let his illness intrude on his passion for cycling. He turned the cranks for the last time in April 2010 and left a legacy of talent and inspiration to a new breed of competitive cyclists growing up in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley. The Mick Chapman Memorial Criterium is a part of that legacy.
Combine Club Memorial Race
The combined club memorial race honours several of our significant members who are no longer with us;
- Dominic Mason
- Mick Hyde
- Don Spencer
- Bob Ryan
- Joe Robinson and
- Bill Ebling