Over the years I have had the privilege to work with many great individuals, all of whom were extremely passionate about their chosen sport.
One such individual who worked with Delta TV, now Eastlink TV as my co-host for the Tour de Delta was Kelyn Akuna, who at the time was running the cycling program at the Burnaby Velodrome in hopes of growing the track cycling in the province.
It is with sadness that I mention the passing of Kelyn who was taken from his Family and the Cycling world in the early part of May.
He is of Hawaiian-American descent and spent many years competing in cycling races around the world as a member of the United States national team.
His long legacy with the Burnaby Velodrome Club included running their last editions of the Four-Day races, the Aboriginal Youth Cycling program, the Feature Friday Night series.
This along with seeing him help to create what is known as the pioneer edition of the Western Track Challenge; the Cycling Canada sanctioned race weekend for young cyclists which would allow them to compete on both the National and International stages.
He had what I call the PHD of sport, Pride, Hustle and Desire to grow the cycling community each and every chance he had.
The last event that he organized at the Velodrome was the Western Track Challenge in order to showcase Youth Cyclists from Western Canada and the Pacific Northwest to high caliber and pro racing.
I am told that outside of the facility he was secretly crafting and designing the medals awarded for the event, staying within budget that he set.
He cut, sanded and printed each medal and challenged himself managing to offer a unique and special reward for the athletes hard work during the race.
As you can imagine this created a long lasting memory for all of the participants that entered the event that might just have them return to the Velodrome.
During out time at the Tour de Delta he offered up a unique perspective to both the riders, the sport at the same time keeping in mind that he was developing future young riders to the sport.
He was never without words being able to offer any “unique” tidbit that might engage those watching on Delta TV for all three days of the Tour de Delta.
Our thoughts go out to Tara and the two boys, for how they have grown the cycling community in Burnaby, the lower mainland and the Province.
In digging through my recordings, I can across something that he told me and wrote it below.
I have found that sports, as with many things in life, aren’t meant to be easy, but gives us various challenges to excel pushing each of us to achieve greater feats allowing us to discover who we are and the many great things we can accomplish.
“Through my time in the cycling world it has allowed me an outlet to discover myself, forging life long friendships as well as travel the world and what more could you ask for.”
We lost a great human being and friend, we will miss you most dearly Kelyn, Ride in Peace.
In checking I found the fundraising page set up to help his family, so feel free to consider donating: