Sporting traditions vary in the way they begin, some come about by accident, some come after considerate planning, and some have been around for so long no one can quite remember how they started, they just did.
In every instance, they are all special in their own way and each is held in a special place by the team members and fans alike and can become as much a part of the team as the uniform, the equipment or the official team rules.
And when it comes to team traditions, none quite stand out like that of the Australian junior men’s track team’s who bleach their hair annually on the eve of the Junior Track World Championships.
Caleb Ewan (2012) and Matthew Glaetzer (2011)
2014 Team Pursuit Junior World Champions
However the tradition, which has been around for longer than most of the current team members have been alive, isn’t a teenage free-for-all, it comes with strict terms and conditions.
Before a drop of dye touches their heads, the junior men’s team is required to perform a presentation to the junior women’s representatives and team staff about the history of the tradition.
Then and only then will it be approved, that is if the junior women decide if the junior men have displayed enough of an understanding of the tradition to be able to go proceed with the dying process.
Our Junior Track Team is off to Kazakhstan this week for World, but not before a special presentation… more soon 😉 pic.twitter.com/fon9DVljCX
— Cycling Australia (@CyclingAus) August 11, 2015
And we can happily announce the 2015 team have shown they understand and respect the tradition and have commenced (much to their parent’s disdain no doubt) the dying!
2015 team preparations
Perhaps not quite as noticeable as the men, but easier to remove, the junior women have their own tradition of painting their nails prior to competition.
The team has been in Adelaide since August 1 at the official team camp and will depart Australia on August 13.
The 2015 Junior (Under 19) Track World Championships will be held from 19-23 August in Astana, Kazakhstan.
And FYI, blondes perhaps go faster, with Australia having topped the medal tally at the past seven Junior Track World Championships, including winning five gold in 2014.
Under 19 Men
- Rohan Wight (18, WARRADALE, SA)
- James Robinson (17, PROSPECT, TAS)
- Alex Rendell (17, MT HAWTHORN, WA)
- Kelland O’Brien (16, LILYDALE, VIC)
- James Tickner (17, ASPENDALE, VIC)
- Derek Radzikiewicz (19, BELAIR, SA)
- Conor Rowley (16, LYSTERFIELD, VIC)
- Cameron Scott (17, MENANGLE, NSW)
Under 19 Women
- Danielle McKinnirey (18, ST MORRIS, SA)
- Chloe Moran (16, ROSE PARK, SA)
- Tori Saunders (16, TAMWORTH, NSW)
- Nicola McDonald (16, MEREWETHER, NSW)
- Brooke Tucker (16, WANDAL, QLD)
- Tahlay Christie (16, HAMILTON HILL, WA)
- Courtney Field (17, BERWICK, VIC)