Wollongong 2022 has welcomed Governor-General, His Excellency David Hurley AC DSC, as the first Friend of Wollongong − the official ambassador program − for next year’s event.
His Excellency, a born and bred Wollongong local, and his wife Her Excellency Linda Hurley celebrated the ambassadorial appointment with a bike ride along the city’s Blue Mile today with Wollongong 2022 Chair Dean Dalla Valle.
As the son of a Port Kembla steelworker and graduate of Port Kembla High School, His Excellency is proud of the history that underpins the city, and the transformation Wollongong continues to embrace.
“Hosting the 2022 UCI Road World Championships is a wonderful opportunity for Wollongong to further realise the city’s vision to be a hub of lifestyle, innovation and well-being, and to share that with the world,” the Governor-General said.
“Wollongong is flourishing because of forward-thinking programs and initiatives such as Wollongong 2022.
“I’m proud of my Wollongong heritage and honoured to support the future of the city as a Friend of Wollongong for next year’s UCI Road World Championships − not only as a local but also as a keen cyclist.
“Linda and I are enthusiastic advocates for active transport and support health and well-being initiatives, and cycling ticks all of those boxes. Wollongong has so many wonderful pockets to explore and I can’t think of anything better than doing so by bike.”
The Governor-General also supports the Wollongong 2022 volunteer program, which will open in the first quarter of 2022, promoting the benefits of service to the community.
Wollongong 2022 Chair Dean Dalla Valle said It was an honour to have the Governor-General on team Wollongong ahead of the significant event.
“Wollongong 2022 will be the biggest event this city has ever experienced, attracting approximately 300,000 spectators over eight days of World Championship racing and broadcast to 300 million people globally,” Mr Dalla Valle said.
“Having the Governor-General as a Friend of Wollongong reinforces how important this event will be for the community, for NSW and Australia.
“We expect 75 national federations will compete next September making it a truly global event, and His Excellency is a wonderful advocate for Wollongong and our event.”
Wollongong City Council General Manager Greg Doyle said the Governor-General was an inspiring local success story and his support was a strong endorsement for the event and Wollongong’s role as a UCI Bike City.
“The Governor-General is a highly regarded member of this community and someone who Is proud of his connection to Port Kembla. We’re thrilled he is backing Wollongong 2022 and advocating for the city on a global stage,” Mr Doyle said.
“The UCI Road World Championships will be huge for Wollongong. It’s a real opportunity to reshape people’s perceptions of our city as millions of people from around the globe will tune in to watch the world’s best cyclists compete against the backdrop of Wollongong’s unique landscape.”