The NZ Schools Cycling Association (NZSCA) was established in 1968, to address the decreasing numbers of cyclists participating in the sport. 

An idea was formalised to introduce cycling into secondary schools across New Zealand in the hope this would help the development of cycling. An event consisting of a 16km Team Time Trial was scheduled and the NZSCA approached former Governor General, Sir Bernard Fergusson to have a cup bear his name, which he readily agreed to. This event, now known as the National Schools Road Cycling Championships is often referred to as the Sir Bernard Ferguson weekend. This event was held in the Levin/Manawatu region from 1968 until 2018 where the event was moved to the South Island as a trial to encourage more South Island representation. From its inception events and age groups have been added as demand required:

  • The HA Joli Cup for Team Time Trial reserves from introduced in 1971
  • In 1979 a points race was introduced, and is still held
  • In 1986 a girls grade was introduced
  • Due to the increasing numbers an Under 15 grade for the team time trial was introduced in 1993
  • 2000 saw the introduction of racing for year 7 & 8 pupils

This event is now held in the Term 3 School Holidays on a rotation basis between North and South Islands.

NZSCA, now known as Cycling New Zealand Schools, has now grown to include 13 sanctioned events across Road, Track, MTB and Cyclo Cross operating under its umbrella.

In 2016, CNZ Schools and Cycling New Zealand signed a memorandum of understanding to recognise their shared ambition of maximising the growth in participation of competitive cycling in schools (intermediate and secondary schools), and intend to use the knowledge, skills, expertise and resources collectively across our organisations to achieve this outcome. Through this partnership, it will be possible to further connect the competition pathways, enhance best practice event delivery, and increase and build stronger relationships with schools and their riders.

Likewise, it is envisaged that through this partnership where CNZ integrates Schools Cycling activity into the current CNZ framework, there will be notable increased efficiently and reduce administration and operational workload for CNZ Schools Executive.

What is the Role of CNZ Schools? 

  • To promote the enjoyment, participation and competition on bicycles for all school-age children in New Zealand
  • To create and govern competitive cycling opportunities for School age participants.
  • To regulate cycling competition between schools and establish fair rules of competition.
  • To ensure a consistent standard of quality and safety is achieved and to meet the requirements of Schools Sport NZ
  • To hold, approve or endorse New Zealand National Schools Cycling National Championships or Events, North and South Island Schools Cycling Championships or Events and approve or endorse regional level Schools Cycling events.
  • To be a Member Organisation of Cycling New Zealand and to comply with the rules of CNZ as they affect the Association
  • To maintain consistency and alignment with the aims of School Sport NZ.
  • To advocate for the rights and interests of schools cycling at the appropriate levels.

The following is a brief history of this event as written in 1982 by Mr Bill Main.

In the mid and late sixties concern was felt at the receding numbers of cyclists in our sport and Mr Bill Main of Wanganui came up with the idea of introducing cycling into the Secondary Schools of New Zealand in the hope that this would help to boost the numbers taking part in cycling.

In the sixties, Her Majesty, the Queen, toured New Zealand, and an International Sports Meeting was staged in Christchurch, where the New Zealand Team won the Royal Tour Cup. This Cup lay in the cupboard in the Wellington Headquarters of the New Zealand Amateur Cycling Association for some years gathering dust.

When Mr Main's idea of a competition among the schools was first put to the Association's Council it was suggested that this cup be used.

The N.Z.A.C.A then applied to the former Governor General of New Zealand, Sir Bernard Fergusson to have this Cup bear his name, which he readily agreed to.

It was decided to approach the Schools with the idea that teams of five riders should be entered to compete in a Teams Time Trial over a ten mile course. Each team would be sent on the journey at five minute intervals so that there would be almost no chance of interference which would cause crashes. It was also decided that this event should take place during the School Holidays in August each year so that it would not interfere with school work.

The post Primary Teachers Association gave its blessing to this proposal and so it was decided to hold the first competition for this Trophy on the first Saturday of the 1968 School Holidays.

The venue for this event was set at Levin as it was felt that it was fairly central locality and would make travelling even for all areas.

The very first contest drew a field of twelve teams from throughout the North Island. To date a total of 48 schools from Whangarei to Invercargill have competed in this event with the greatest number in any one year being an entry of 31 teams with 29 facing the starter.

The N.Z.A.C.A gave its blessing to the event by agreeing to supply each member of the winning team with the Association's gold medal. Later each member of the first three teams was awarded the Association's gold, silver and bronze medals.

Each and every rider who starts in the event now receives a suitable pennant as does their school. Each year the organisers endeavour to obtain the services of a Guest Speaker to present the Trophy and medals. Guest speakers have included much well known men as Godfrey Bowen, Peter Snell, Lance Cross, Hon. P Ames, Minister of Education, the Partiamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister of Recreation and Sport MR K Comber and the Hon Mr Highet.

In 1970 concern was expressed by several members that Team Reserves traveled long distances just to stand on the sideline in case they were required. Mr J. A Joli of Tauranga stated that the Tauranga Amateur Cycling Club was prepared to donate a trophy for an event for these boys and so in 1971 an Individual Time Trial over approx a five mile course for the H. A Joli Cup was introduced with the stipulation that to be eligible to compete the boys must be reserves for their School team competing for the Sir Bernard Fergusson Trophy.

In 1980 it was found necessary to hold a Trial to select three schoolboy cyclists to represent New Zealand in the Australian Secondary Schools Championships following an invitation to send a team to this event. It was decided to hold trials on Manfield Autocourse in Feilding. A field of over one hundred cyclists entered for this trial and a very spectacular race was witnessed.