Updated 14 April 2015
Who?, What?, Where? and When? of:
Your President - William Wright
apparently Iím President! Iím absolutely delighted, how did that happen?
Thank you to everyone who has put their trust in me to hold this honour and
responsibility of leading a club with such a long-standing and respected
history. Iím indebted to Malcolm Adams for all the hard work heís put in,
which has kept this Club as a really friendly and close-knit group for the
last 5 years, while also doing a huge amount of work researching our
founders, and keeping the profile of the Club high.
On Monday evening, following the AGM, I was honoured to be congratulated
by no less than 5 past Presidents, including Derek Boon, who was President
when I joined De Laune in 1987. Such a group of thoroughly nice men - I was
starting to feel all venerable! I hope I can continue what theyíve started.
Iíve been asked to give a brief CV of my time in the Club, so here goes:
When I joined I was just starting out in cycling at the tender age of 24,
and I just thought Iíd give it a go for a couple of years as Iíd never
really been all that competitive even while I was at school.
It was a vibrant Club in those days, with busy Thursday club nights, and
well-attended club events with some real quality riders. We had a wide range
of activities in those days, from roller-racing to track to time trialling
to road racing, and some strong friendships were made, which I came to
realise was probably the most powerful reason for belonging. Shared
experiences of ambition, endeavour, fair play, hard work, success, and even
bad luck and failure too Ė these are all things that help to build oneís
personality and enable us to understand ourselves and each other.
the early 90s I found a bit of a niche for myself in another branch of the
sport, Mountain biking, which was a real growth area at that time - and I
sought to gain a few new off-road members in De Laune to keep me company. We
built up a quite strong off-road section, off to races all over the country,
camping at weekends, and via an advert in MTB magazines - inviting riders to
join our club in ĎSunny Peckhamí. The volunteer base was strong too, and Iím
really grateful to De Laune members who were highly supportive in helping
the Beastway Mountain Bike Series to get going in 1994. Iíve had to step
away from running this now, but Iím really proud that itís still running,
under new management out at Hog Hill 21 years on.
My main focus has become finding ways to encourage new people into the
Club and into the Sport, and over the years Iíve found a variety of ways to
do this. Whether it was working as manager of Herne Hill Velodrome, or
setting up Herne Hill Youth CC, or working for British Cycling, Eastway
Cycle Circuit and also briefly at Hog Hill, Iíve always had the greatest
pleasure seeing people getting on bikes and growing in confidence as they
gain fitness and a love for the sport.
Now we have a real challenge Ė to start to grow the membership in De
Laune again. We have a lot of things on our side. Firstly there are a lot of
potential members out there. Secondly we have some outgoing and keen regular
riders who know and understand the South London cycling scene. We also have
resources that can help to raise our profile and market ourselves more
effectively. Riding and having fun, and providing opportunities to ride is
mostly how to do it. Friendship, encouragement and having a laugh is most of
I look forward immensely to the next five years Ė during which time I
intend to serve the Club well, and as a start Iím planning to get out on my
bike a bit more and to be less well-rounded than Iíve become of late!
Best wishes, Bill Wright