Lifetime dedication gives Robertson a worthy overall win
WITH just a hint of a tear in his eye – it might have been a reaction to the photographers' flashes – Ken Robertson was a delighted and emotional overall winner of the Torbay Sports Awards 2012.
One of 10 category winners, Robertson picked up the overall honours for his remarkable lifetime's dedication to cycling in the South West.
He has devoted more than 60 years of his busy life to cycling in general and the Mid Devon Cycling Club in particular.
Having held many posts across local, regional and national level, Robertson is lauded by many as the driving force behind the club – and even continues to ride himself, despite being well into retirement.
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Yet the man from Paignton graciously said it was only because of the help of others at Mid Devon CC that he was still able to carry on at the age of 74.
"It feels even better than the last time!" said Robertson, having picked up the Outstanding Contribution Award earlier in the evening.
"But seriously, you only do it as you have the support of the club with you – it's no good just doing it by yourself, you really need other people helping you out.
"I'm gradually getting slippery shoulders, which means you get other people to do things for you.
"I've had a lot of support for example from time-trial secretary Ben Tisdall – all these people, you ask them and they are picking up things to do."
Robertson was winning races as far back as 1960, before being elected to the Mid Devon club's committee as time trial secretary in 1966.
In 1980, he became the first South West delegate to be elected to the national committee of the Road Time Trials Council.
Yet despite standing down as chairman of the club in 2004, Robertson has maintained a heavy workload, in particular ensuring the Dartmoor Classic has grown to become one of the most important events on the regional cycling calendar.
When entries opened recently for the 2013 event, it took just five days for the 3,000 places to be filled.
Robertson's work has enabled a raft of young riders to learn their trade and gain professional contracts – including this year's Tour of Britain winner Jon Tiernan-Locke.
But Robertson is already looking to the next batch of young riders to ensure they have every chance of success.
He said: "It's because of the Dartmoor Classic that we're able to put funds into people like young Noah and others.
"We're organising a day for juniors and youths, and out of the 50 people there are 10 from Mid-Devon CC, so people from the club are always at the core of these things.
"You know you've got the future coming along – you've got riders like Brennan Townshend and Seb Baylis, they're all riding for pro teams next year – Ianto Barker has been there for a long time but there's been a long history of successful riders
"The thing that would make it really good would be Torbay getting on with a traffic-free circuit and the velodrome."