SASI sprinters aim to light up Whyalla carnival

SASI star and Whyalla product Leigh Hoffman will be among the SASI team visiting his home town at this weekend's (February 9, 10) Whyalla Cycling Club Track Carnival

WHYALLA Cycling Club will welcome home a favourite son in Leigh Hoffman and say hi to his SASI sprint teammates when this weekend's annual club track carnival kicks off.

The inaugural SASI visit to the Upper North will see its sprinters take part in racing on the Saturday and help with a coaching clinic for a talented juniors on the Sunday before returning home.

The SASI athletes include Brooklyn Vonderwall, Lara Tucker, Carlos Carisimo, Heather May, Leigh Hoffman and sign on athletes Tia Slama, Jaden Rollison and Declan Key.

SASI Scholarship Coach James Glasspool said the weekend would be a great way for the SASI team to enjoy variety in its training and competition and to share its knowledge with a new group.

"With Leigh (Hoffman) being from Whyalla it has created a lot of interest as the Whyalla club was where he was from," James said.

"The carnival will give our sprinters a bit of a break and a chance to change things up a bit. It also will give us a chance to have a look at some of the local talent competing - some I may know and others I may not have seen.

"Then on the Sunday it will be a chance to run a coaching clinic before we head back home.

"I lived in Whyalla for about 4 1/2 years but well before I was involved in cycling so it will be like a bit of a homecoming for me too.

"For someone like Leigh who comes home when he can it is a great example of someone from a regional centre who has done so well at a higher level. We would like to visit regional areas of the state a more regular part of our program at SASI.''

Whyalla Cycling Club secretary and carnival coordinator Matt Stanton said the committee, competitors and public were looking forward to the weekend and SASI's involvement.

"We have changed the program a little by inlcuding a keirin for the men and women which will involve the SASI cyclists and a couple of top ups from us," Matt said.

"It will be great to see high-profile athletes competing and being involved on the Sunday with the clinics.

"We are expecting a decent crowd. Our committee had done a lot of hard work and we have had plenty of media with TV, radio and print. It's going to be exciting with a bit of prizemoney up for grabs."

Racing begins at 4pm and will finish about 9.30pm on Saturday, February 9.

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