Wheels turn for cycle scholar

Australian Commonwealth Games champion Steele von Hoff (a White Bike Foundation ambassador), Kooweerup cyclist and Joel Hawkins Memorial Scholarship holder Jack Marshall, MP Greg Hunt, coach Chris Savage and Robbie Peime, also a White Bike ambassador. 191549_01 Pictures: STEWART CHAMBERS

18-year-old cyclist Jack Marshall is showing great promise on the stage and he has no shortage of inspiration.

The Deakin University Exercise and Sport Science student from Kooreewup was awarded the Joel Hawkins Scholarship by Mornington Cycling Club (MCC) for 2019.

MCC started to fund the Scholarship after one its most promising young members, 17-year-old Joel Hawkins, was killed while training on the Mornington Peninsula in June 2015.

Three months into the Scholarship, Jack has already competed in the National Championships and finished 15th in the 262km Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic (B Grade).

“It was an honour to receive the Joel Hawkins Scholarship from MCC,” said Marshall.

“I am privileged to be part of such a great club. The Scholarship has already provided me with a huge amount of support, helping me to gain heaps of experience and has also introduced me to many new and great people within the cycling community, particularly supporters and volunteers at The White Bike Foundation.”

Mornington Peninsula-founded road safety charity The White Bike Foundation exists to educate and protect all road users.

Its founder Chris Savage, of Rosebud, has recently returned from cycling 1,700kms around Victoria to raise awareness and drive respect on the road.

“It was great to see Chris off at Mornington Park,” says Marshall (pictured with Chris Savage, Greg Hunt MP and reigning Commonwealth Games road race champion Steele von Hoff and Robbie Peime who are ambassadors for the Foundation).

“It gives me peace of mind to know that there are people fighting to make the roads we train on a safer place.”

Fifty-eight people died on Victorian roads in January and February 2019; 24 more people (70.6 per cent) than the same period last year. And in just the last two weeks, former Creswick CFA Captain Mark Spenceley and Mornington Peninsula triathlete Michelle Ruitenbeek have passed away after being hit while cycling.

The White Bike Foundation is working hard to amplify the lives of those killed in such tragic circumstances by asking all road users to #think2 before making any decision that could endanger themselves or those around them.

Joel Hawkins’ mother Liza said of MCC Scholarship: “Joel would have benefited greatly from a scholarship like this. It’s exactly the kind of support a young cyclist needs.”

MCC President Bruce Trew said: “Jack is going from strength to strength. He is wearing the Scholarship badge with honour and is taking full advantage of the scholarship and everything it is supposed to provide a young and upcoming cyclist.”