Our New Order Fulfilment Assistant

Sami Donnelly

Personal Background

Welcome Sami! Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hello! I am 21 years old, originally from Christchurch but recently moved up to Cambridge to keep my Track cycling dream alive! As a kid I tried all sports imaginable, from hockey to netball, tennis, water polo, cricket and everything in between. I grew up in a cycling household, beginning in mountain biking and then BMX and eventually had a go at track cycling in 2013 and I haven't looked back since! I am currently also studying a Diploma in Web & Graphic Design, as well as now working part time at Velobike Innovation!

Image: @matgilfedder


Congratulations on your remarkable performance at the elite world championships in Glasgow! Could you share some highlights from the competition, especially your experience finishing inside the top 10 in the individual pursuit at your first world champs.

Thank you! 2023 has been a pretty incredible year for me! Stepping into my first World Championships I tried to hold no expectations, I went into the campaign with open eyes and wanted to learn from my teammates and gain that international experience. I feel very lucky to have been surrounded by some amazing girls to lean on and learn from. Top 10 in the Individual Pursuit and a PB was the cherry on top! I wanted to produce a ride which I was proud of and it is always an honour to represent New Zealand. 


What inspired you to pursue a career in track cycling and how will this role help you to achieve your goals?

I would have to say, most of my inspiration comes from my own family! With my dad representing New Zealand at multiple Olympics and Commonwealth games I have inspiration and motivation right at my fingertips. My parents have always been my biggest supporters and have given me the opportunity to give this career a crack, I aspire to make them proud! 

This role at Velobike not only allows me to learn more about the industry, but the flexibility is giving me the ability to live in Cambridge in the heart and home of Track Cycling in New Zealand whilst still completing my daily training and commitments. 

The Athlete / Work Balance

How do you manage the balance between intensive training for track cycling and packing everyone's Velobike equipment orders? Can you share any insights or strategies that have helped you succeed in both areas?

Still figuring this part out but being an athlete and working, I think it is key to have all areas of your training prioritised and figured out before taking on other workloads. Prioritising sleep, recovery and nutrition has been a huge work-on for me recently so figuring out my daily schedules and commitments, what time I'm training, working, going to the gym, physio and other meetings and appointments then figuring out a routine or schedule to keep everything in line. I feel very grateful in this role to be able to have the flexibility that I can adjust my days to suit whilst still fulfilling orders and I think that working in an environment which understands the demands of a high performance athlete is key to success. 

Image: @colemconie


Being a part of the New Zealand Women's endurance cycling team is an incredible achievement. How do you think your experience in competitive cycling can be applied to your role in the team at Velobike Innovation?

My prior knowledge about track cycling and all the equipment has allowed me to learn pretty quickly in this role! It's made the learning curve of what all the parts are called and where they’re located in the warehouse quite a bit more simple.

What do you find most exciting about joining the Velobike Innovation team?

Working for a New Zealand company leading innovation in the cycling world is incredible. Velobike is a very well known name in Track Cycling with the best in the world using their tech and they have already made a significant impact on the sport with new technologies and sustainable solutions. I’m excited to be involved in what's around the corner.  


What advice would you give to individuals who are juggling demanding careers while pursuing their passion, much like your path as a track cyclist?

Putting yourself first and keeping that passion alive! I think it is quite easy to get caught up in a life going full speed all the time, but it is so demanding. Do what you love and stay committed. 

Velobike Tech

What Velobike Components do you run on your bike?

Currently sprockets, chainrings and a longboi stem! I am soon to purchase a pair of Skat bars which I am super excited about as every time I pack an order with them I wish they were my own! I have previously used the bunch bars also and highly rate them, as do many riders all over the world.

Which one is your favourite and why?

Although I am yet to ride them, I think the Skat bars are my favourite! Such a cool piece of equipment and the first of its kind with the interchangeable grips. As I have narrow shoulders the width is also a key aspect for me going as narrow as possible.

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