FROM THE PADDOCK TO THE FIELD: Iain Hume combines his role as a research hydrologist with coaching and competing in cycling events

THE Riverina is home to some of the finest agricultural producers in Australia. It is also a region that is renowned for sporting success stories.

It is not unusual for an individual to juggle the commitments of working in a family farming business or the rural sector and then backing it up with several sessions of strenuous training a week to meet their sporting goals. This week The Rural talks to NSW Department of Primary Industries research hydrologist and cycling coach Iain Hume. 

SHARING life skills as a sporting coach is something that is invaluable to Iain Hume and the young athletes he works with. 

Hume is a cyclist a coach and also works as a research hydrologist with the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) in Wagga. 

Cycling tours and an interest to see the world initially triggered his enthusiasm for the sport but his fondness for bikes dates back to childhood.

This interest has taken him from the track, to the road and in more recent times he has diversified his talents and skills into mountain bike riding too.

“I like to push myself, you have got to give it everything you have got,” he said. 

To wind back the story back chronologically, he purchased his first bike as a 13-year-old after earning money from completing a paper round. 

This independence was something that he remembers vividly.

“It was independence … it was a way of getting around,” he said. 

In addition to cycling Hume was also a Rugby Union player and completed 15 seasons.

A lifetime of training and enjoying sport has given him an ideal base to share knowledge with other athletes.

Coaching is something that Hume talks about enthusiastically. And he reiterates the well-known fact that Wagga is an ideal breeding ground for sporting success stories. 

He said the region was also ideal for endurance athletes who wanted to enjoy the challenges of Willans Hill or the purpose-built track at Pomingalarna Reserve. 

And coaching in sport is something which Hume says has applications for all areas of life and career. 

“It is teaching life skills and setting people up with goals and time management,” he said. 

Given the inroads that have been made in cycling technology the sky is the limit when it comes to embracing the most advanced gear. 

“You don’t have to spend lots of money, the gear doesn’t matter, it doesn’t give you ticker,” Hume said. 

His competitive nature is not just about beating rivals it is a competition against himself. And this is an attitude that is passed on during the coaching programs. 

“Every time you pin a number on it is a race against yourself.”