Community Sports Dad of the Year 2016
Simon Gerrans - Cycling

Partner’s name: Rahna
Children’s names: Oscar (5) & Isla (4)
Charity of choice: Chain Reaction Challenge Foundation / The Steve Waugh Foundation

Described as a “constant deliverer on the world’s biggest stage”, Simon is one of Australia’s great cycling stars, racing for ORICA-BikeExchange. A four time winner of the Tour Down Under, which is a record, Simon is also a two time stage winner in the Tour de France. He suffered a setback in this year’s Tour, breaking his collarbone which ruled him out of the Rio Games. He claimed the yellow jersey in the Tour winning Stage 4 in 2013. But, despite his cycling success across the globe, Simon loves nothing better than being there for his children Oscar and Isla. “I love the simple things which bring them enjoyment; watching the kids play sport, reading stories, kicking the football and going for a bike ride,” Simon says. “Isla is an early riser like myself so I really enjoy our one-on-one time having breakfast together in the morning.” Rahna says: “Simon is a fun dad and when he spends time with Oscar and Isla, he is 100 per cent focused on being in that moment.”

How hard is it spending so much time away from the kids during competition? It is difficult going to races like the Tour de France when I am away for up to a month at a time. I feel like they both grow and develop so much when I am away for longer periods, it is tough missing this.  - Simon 

How often do you talk to the kids when you are away? I try to speak to the kids at least once per day on the phone and also video call them on Skype or FaceTime even if it is just for a couple of minutes before they go to bed at night. - Simon

How big an inspiration are the kids to your career? I hate being away from the kids for extended periods so I use this as motivation to really make these trips count. I figure if I have to be away from my family I better make it worthwhile. - Simon

Do they take an active interest in your career? Very much so. They love to dress up in their cycling jerseys and come to races whenever it is possible. - Simon

Do you think they realise what you do and how famous you are? They definitely realise what I do. Only when they come to see me race do they see how popular cycling is. It’s funny watching their reactions when people come up and ask me for photos and autographs. - Simon

Besides their birth, obviously, what is your most memorable moment with your kids? Seeing the kids experience things for the first time like riding their bikes, going to the snow etc. - Simon

Where's their favourite place they like you to take them? Our local BMX track and out for ice-cream. - Simon

How hard is it when he has to be away from home on tour? We are used to Simon going away for long periods of time so we manage this quite well. As Oscar has got older, he has started to miss his dad more and when Simon arrives home Oscar doesn’t leave his side for the first couple of days. Both Oscar and Isla understand what Simon does and we are fortunate to be able to communicate via phone and also see Simon on the television which makes it easier for them. - Rahna

What is his best asset as a father? The example he sets of hard work, commitment and dedication to cycling. - Rahna

How do the kids keep in contact with him when he's away? We use FaceTime to speak to Simon when he is away. It is not always possible to chat every day so I also send him videos and photos of the kids via WhatsApp, and we watch the ORICA-BikeExchange Backstage Pass videos each morning at breakfast which the kids love. - Rahna

What makes your dad so great?
He takes me scooter riding. - Isla
Because he gives me ice-cream, he is smart and he rides his bike really fast and wins races. - Oscar

What is the best thing dad does for you?
I love to jump on the trampoline with daddy watching me. - Isla
I love when we play football together and he takes me to the BMX track. And when we have ice-cream. - Oscar

Do you like watching him as he’s cycling?
Yes because I love jumping up and down and cheering for daddy. - Isla
I love watching and cheering “venga venga daddy, venga venga daddy” and when he wins the race. I really liked when daddy rode his bike with the yellow jersey. *venga means go in Spanish - Oscar

Sports Dad of the Year 2016
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