Olympic medallist and Kiwi cycling hero, Simon van Velthooven, has been announced as an official Volkswagen New Zealand ambassador, joining fellow cyclist Alison Shanks as part of the Volkswagen family.
Currently in Japan where he has been competing in the pro Keirin league for the last few months, van Velthooven says he is looking forward to this opportunity. "I’m a huge fan of Volkswagen and their great range of performance driven cars. I jumped at the opportunity to partner with such an iconic brand and establish a more formal partnership with them," says van Velthooven. General Manager of Volkswagen New Zealand, Tom Ruddenklau, says the partnership is a very natural one. "Simon is a star in his sport demonstrated not only by his performance but clearly visible in his personality too. 2012 has been a great year for him and we’re very excited to put the support of the Volkswagen brand behind him on the road to Rio," says Ruddenklau.
Volkswagen is an Official Partner to our Kiwi sporting heroes for the next four years, commencing their sponsorship with London 2012 and continuing to support our athletes right through to the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Van Velthooven rode in two events at the London Olympics earlier this year, picking up a bronze medal in the men’s keirin after placing fifth with his sprint team. Other career highlights include the bronze medal van Velthooven won at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the men’s keirin. Van Velthooven will receive a brand new Volkswagen Golf GTI for the duration of his partnership with Volkswagen when he returns to New Zealand in December, just in time for his 24th birthday. Van Velthooven says the car will make darting up to his family farm in Manawatu much easier.
As part of this commitment to New Zealand sport, Volkswagen New Zealand is also a long term sponsor of New Zealand Football, from a grass roots level with the Small Whites, to the international success of both the All Whites and Football Ferns.