Our community hub
At APL, we often talk about the Waikato as “our playground”; we’re also deeply committed to the success of our region and supporting our community. Happily, our cornerstone sponsorship of the Grassroots Trust Velodrome achieves both.
The 10,000sm complex at Cambridge is centred on a world-class wooden cycling velodrome and is a National Cycling Centre of Excellence, providing facilities for over 160 athletes from a variety of different sports.
As busy as the Grassroots Trust Velodrome is with elite athletes, 90% of the activity at the facility involves community users. Retirees, school kids, members of the disabled community and families all come together to use the fitness zone, café, free bike skills park and other facilities. Since it opened in 2014, the Velodrome has become the recreational hub, if not the heart, in the ‘Heart of Waipa’.
There’s a strong sentimental aspect to our sponsorship of the Grassroots Trust Velodrome, given Cambridge was where APL got its start. It’s fitting that we should come full circle with this relationship on the town’s front door.
A true partnership
From the beginning, our sponsorship has been more than a financial commitment. Scott Gemmill, General Manager at the Grassroots Trust Velodrome, describes the relationship as special. “What sticks out is how APL is able to work with us to bring the sponsorship to life. APL is not a ‘sponsor’ to us; APL is a partner.” One example: a recent investment in improving access to the complex for people with disability issues, which Scott says has been a “gamechanger” for many visitors.
Build it and they will come – but it doesn’t hurt to encourage them
The Grassroots Trust Velodrome describes itself as “a world-class environment that builds the community’s passion for cycling, health and wellbeing”. We’re totally on board with that. APL works with the Grassroots Trust Velodrome team to put on twice-yearly track experiences for kids from lower decile schools around the Waikato. We also hold regular ‘Builders’ Days’ where staff from building companies get to strut their stuff on the velodrome and enjoy the complex.
Home away from home
We’re not shy of donning the lycra ourselves, from time to time. In fact, plenty of APL staff regularly ride at the velodrome, and the company also uses the facilities for events such as Christmas parties. “APL treats this place as their own place, and that’s quite special to us,” says Scott.