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Staying on track to the top

For champion sprinter Kerrie Meares, one half of Australian cycling’s leading sister act, it was the unwavering support of her coach that made it possible to stay on track to the top.

“A professional career has a lot of ups and downs. To take a career to its fullest potential, you need a lot of support. Someone who has had a major impact on guiding my career to the next stage is my coach, Peter Day, along with his wife, Cheryl,” Kerrie says.

“I travelled a lot as a junior and I was often away from home, so I’d live with Peter and Cheryl for months at a time. This meant that they literally took on a partial parenting role as well, and provided the right foundation for me to progress within my career.

“Peter stepped outside of his coaching role as he could see the talent and he could see there was a need for support to help me achieve my goals, which was really important.”

Boosted by her coach’s support, Kerrie launched the family dominance winning two cycling gold medals at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, followed by further medals at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.

Also, keeping it in the family, her sister Anna went on to win Olympic cycling golds in Athens 2004 and London 2012, plus silver in Beijing 2008.
 

In order to be a success, you have to have a high level of commitment to work together as a team with your coach. It’s really important to focus on that development early, to be better prepared for the future.

Since retiring from competition, Peter Day’s positive influence has continued to motivate Kerrie to give back via her involvement in the Cycling Queensland Jets Program, which is targeted at junior cyclists that aspire to achieve personal best cycling performances in both track and road disciplines.

“Having that support inspired me to mentor and coach the next generation of this sport. Post-retirement, I’m coaching with the state juniors and I’ve developed the Cycling Queensland junior program for track cycling,” she says.

“In order to be a success, you have to have a high level of commitment to work together as a team with your coach. It’s really important to focus on that development early, to be better prepared for the future.

“Without that structure, you can’t plan for the future as it helps you make the bigger decisions towards your long-term goals.”
 

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