All About OrganicAthlete Victoria!

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Dave Shishkoff

Sep 30, 2008, 6:26:33 PM9/30/08
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Hey everyone, here's a relatively brief breakdown of what OrganicAthlete (OA) Victoria is about - a bunch of people have been added to our list, but might not be familiar with what we're about.  =)
OA is a non-profit, membership-based group that started in California, and can be summed up as a group promoting organic values with the Olympic spirit!  OA promotes respect for the planet, and as such also promotes veganism.  The founder, Bradley Saul, wondered why there weren't many athletes embracing sports and the environment or veganism, and so took the initiated to start his own group.
We have a local chapter, which officially started last spring, and in that time we've grown to over 20 members.  There are two aspects to the group, the most visible is the Cycling Team, where we have 8-10 people as regular participants in local (and sometimes beyond!) cycling events.  Most of the focus has been on the road and track, but we've also got mountain bikers and triathletes.  We've had some impressive results in our first year, which are maintained here:
The 2008 cycling season is nearly over, with Cyclocross being the closing discipline, and we've got a few people out racing but would love to more people in green and orange!
We're welcoming riders for the 2009 club - if you're interested, be sure to let me know!  Last year we had custom cycling jerseys produced, listing our local sponsors.  There's a minimum order to fill, so having more people on board makes it easier to fill these requests.  One doesn't need to be a 'top racer', or even a racer to join the club -- all are welcome and encouraged to join, no matter your level or interest!
The other main aspect of our club is as a vegan sports nutrition support group, and we meet once a month and all (members and the public) are welcome to drop by and discuss any issues of interest.  Our membership has a wide variety of people, with people of all sorts of backgrounds, including martial arts and rock climbing to general weightlifting and fitness.  We also have occasional get-togethers, last month some of us got together and rode out to Mitchell's Farms to play mini-golf!  A few of us also climbed at Crag X several times a week all last winter (email if interested, as we might be able to arrange a discount for OA members..)
There's no reason other sports teams can be created - how about an OA volleyball team in one of the amateur leagues? There are many possibilities!
OA Victoria also organizes sporting events as a way to raise our profile and promote our values.  Last May we put on the OrganicAthlete Track'n'Trail Sprint Duathlon, which was a fun event centered at the velodrome, details can be found here:
Hopefully, if the velodrome remains, we'll repeat this event!  Other possibilities include bringing in professional vegan athletes to give public talks, or even a local Tour D'Organics - a big group bike ride that tours around visiting all the organic farms around Victoria for a day - this has been a smashing success in California and Oregon!
The sky is the limit, and the only thing holding us back is the need for people who want to get involved and make things happen!
First step is to join OrganicAthlete, which can be done through the website:
Chapter members also get some perks, thanks to our sponsors! All new members get a special 'Welcome Pack' from Vega, including a tshirt, carry bag and samples of Vega product, plus the opportunity to order Vega products from the club, which gets members nearly 50% off the retail price.  Members also get a discount at Oak Bay Bikes. This list will expand of course as we get more sponsors.  (Be sure to let me know if you become a member so i can include you in orders!)
If you're keen to help organize or race for OA or join our Board of Directors, we also have our Discussion list, and i'll be happy to add anyone who's interested in this aspect of the club so they can get more involved.  (And yes, all are welcome!  One need not be vegan or vegetarian to join, or race with us -- of course, it makes sense to have an interest and support these values tho! ;)
Thanks for taking the time to learn more about the club, don't hesitate to email me if you've got any questions.
Peas out!
Dave Shishkoff
President, OA Victoria
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