Scion has double representation at Commonwealth Games

26 January 2006

Two Scion employees have been selected to represent New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in March.

Mountain-biker Sonia Foote and mountain bike coach John Lee received notification they will compete at the Commonwealth Games in the last 24 hours.

A competitive mountain biker since 2002, Sonia’s sporting career has taken her overseas and back again.

She holds a variety of titles including the 2004 New Zealand Mountain Biking National Champion, while she is also the undefeated winner of the Xterra off-road triathlon, two years running.

Sonia missed out on going to the Olympic Games in 2004 by just a few points, so she is determined to make up for that when she represents New Zealand in Melbourne.

“I’m definitely chasing a medal!” she says.

Sonia, a scientist at Scion, found out she had been selected for the team when she checked her email last night.

“When I saw the email from the Commonwealth Games selection committee I was too nervous to open it myself, so I rang my coach, John Lee, to help me. Fortunately the news was all good,” she says.

While optimistic about her chances of bringing home a medal, Sonia admits her biggest threat comes from the Canadian team whose members are currently placed at number two and ten in the world.

John Lee is a scientist at Scion’s joint venture company, Ensis, and he will be New Zealand's official Mens Mountain Biking coach at the Games.

“There is no feeling like seeing someone reach a personal goal and knowing you have played a part in that process. The bigger the goal, the better the feeling. I’m looking forward to helping our New Zealand athletes achieve even higher goals at the Games,” says John.

Sonia says the Commonwealth Games selection has made all the hard work worth it.

“So many people have helped me get on the way to Melbourne and I want to thank everyone for their support over the past few years.

“Rotorua will actually have quite a representation in Melbourne with myself, John and another mountain biker, Clinton Avery all included in the team,” she says.