Yesterday Melbourne Storm won the NRL grand final, again. A result like that comes from talented players, a good coaching team, but most of all from a really strong club/team culture. There are players in that team who have no desire to ever play for another team. The key players and coaches nurture younger players to give their very best to the team. As a group, they love the club.

In our sport we occasionally see clubs in which the members are truly proud of their club colours, they’re proud to pull on the team colours on race day. Other clubs try to build this culture but can never quite get it right. There’s a lack of “passion”, a lack of commitment to club activities, something is missing. Many will never find “it”.

Our own club, East Coast Cycos has been going strong since a dozen of us got together in 1992, and formed the club we all enjoy today. Over the years hundreds of people have joined, trained with the squad for as long as they needed to get what they came for, then they moved on. Every one of them contributed something to the club, every one of them took something away with them. You cannot be a Cyco for any length of time and not be changed in some way.

I believe the “secret” is the club culture. The HTFU attitude, the preparedness to do whatever it takes.

At any time in the past twenty five years there have been close friendships, romances and great rivalries happening in the group. Great friendships have formed, lasting friendships, life long friendships. As a club we have taken hundreds of people to Ironman experiences, one year at the Australian Ironman at Forster we had fifty-two starters, and fifty-two finishers.
To the best of my knowledge East Coast Cycos has produced more Hawaii Qualifiers than any other club in Australia. We have qualified seventy-five athletes for the World Championships in Kona Hawaii. There has to be a reason why as a club we have been so successful, over so many years.

I believe the “secret” is the club culture. The HTFU attitude, the preparedness to do whatever it takes. The good natured ribbing between mates, the ability to have fun, while the hard work is being done. The support between club members when things don’t go right, or when someone is injured or sick. Another thing which I see as hugely valuable in binding the club together is the ability to put your hand up and volunteer to do your share when needed.

We have something very valuable, something other clubs envy. Firstly a reputation, built by the hundreds of athletes who have come before you, a reputation which is yours to uphold. Reputations like this can’t be built in one or two seasons, it takes a generation to build something like this.

We have a love for our club, a love and respect for our fellow members. We have a culture in our club which earlier members remember fondly, even though they have gone onto other interests and family commitments, they cherish their time in the Cycos colours.

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