IT has been a long time since Mark Renshaw first clipped on a helmet and pushed pedals, yet the Bathurst star cycling star has never forgotten his roots.
The man who has become a member of the world’s cycling elite remembers what it was like riding as a young kid and now he wants others to develop their own memories.
Renshaw is teaming with Panorama Real Estate – for whom he is now an ambassador – to give away 12 balance bikes and helmets over the next 12 months to Bathurst juniors.
“I'm looking to get kids onto bikes from that young age because it's so easy to transition from that balance bike to a pedal bike,” Renshaw, who rides for African team Dimension Data, said.
“I think locally the club has been so strong and cycling is a sport that has given me so much, and now I'd like to get some kids back into the sport.
“Balance bikes - I've got two little boys and I see the joy it brings them. Will, my oldest, he's 5½ and he still prefers his balance bike to his pedal bike, he just loves it.
“Mum’s still looking after the kids there at the Bathurst track ... hopefully this is a real grass roots level thing, looking to get kids back on to bikes.”
Any customer of Panorama Real Estate over the course of each month who has young children will go into the draw to win a balance bike. Renshaw aims to then share a photo of the winner and their prize on his social media accounts.
As for his role as an ambassador for the Bathurst business, it also has a link to Renshaw’s career.
“Peter Rogers, he was probably one of the first businessmen back in the early 90s actually to support me, back when he was at Peter Rogers Real Estate he gave me some cash to get to the junior world titles. He was one of first businessmen to put his hand in his back pocket,” Renshaw said.
“It's pretty funny that it's come a full circle now and I'm dealing with him at Panorama Real Estate. Real Estate, it's something down the road when cycling stops, I can see myself working in with them.”
Rogers said Panorama Real Estate is in turn excited about promoting cycling with Renshaw.
“Mark’s a great ambassador for Australia, he’s been overseas with his riding,” he said. “I think this will be a great initiative. We think having someone like Mark as ambassador, a lot of people, especially young people look up to him, so having him is a great way to get that message of exercising and being healthy and happy.
“I can remember helping him out as a kid … he was such a good young kid and and he has now turned out to be a great example of what can be achieved with a little help.”