NYC Parks Remembers Star Track’s Deirdre Murphy Bader
It is with great sadness that NYC Parks remembers Deirdre Murphy Bader, a valued partner and colleague who passed away on November 11, 2014.
Deirdre Murphy Bader was founder and Executive Director of Star Track, an elite bicycle racing program operating at the Kissena Velodrome in partnership with NYC Parks and Bike New York.
Deirdre will always be remembered for her devotion and tireless advocacy for Star Track, a free program which served NYC kids ages 8-14, many of whom had never been track racing before. Through her expert coaching, participants in the program not only learned to race bicycles, but went on to medal at the USA Cycling Juniors Track Championships, USA Collegiate Track Nationals and other racing competitions.
NYC Parks was lucky to have Deirdre as a partner in Star Track, as she herself was a decorated cycling champion. In 2000, at age 41, she competed in the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia in road cycling. She was a seven-time World Masters medalist, two-time US National Masters Champion, and 11-time US National Masters medalist. She won over 80 races. She was also a licensed USA Cycling Expert Coach with years of experience dating back to 1999.
Her leadership and commitment to the program enabled Star Track to serve over 1000 kids for a decade. Deirdre’s emphasis on persistence helped many cyclists achieve more than they thought they could. Stephanie Torres joined Star Track not knowing how to ride a bicycle. Through Deirdre’s coaching, she raced to win four gold medals at the 2013 US Collegiate National Championships. For its development of young cycling athletes, the program has been honored as a USA Cycling Center of Excellence.
Deirdre will be dearly missed by her colleagues at NYC Parks, fellow Star Track coaches, and cyclists in the program, among many others. Her accolades from participants in the program speak volumes. At Deirdre’s request, in memoriam donations to Star Track are welcomed. For more information about Star Track, please visit its homepage on the Parks website.
I cannot thank you enough for all you have done. Without you I can’t say I am a nationally ranked athlete. Without you I cannot say I am a part of Star Track. Without you tons of children would have no experience on a bike. Coach Deirdre I truly cannot thank you enough. I admire you so much and you mean so much to me...
I just want to really thank you for everything that you have done for me and all of the kids who have gone through the program over the past years. Your devotion and dedication has inspired me to work hard both in the sport and in life. I really appreciate all the doors you have helped open for me; at the end of this season I will be leaving the junior development team and will be racing with CRCA Foundation next season...
The first time I rode the tack bike I didn't know what to do. However , thanks to you and your coaches, I have been a State Champion in track, road criterium, road races and time trials. If it wasn't for you this program would never have started. You are an extraordinary and fabulous coach, you taught Star Track Riders not only about biking, but also about teamwork...
Thanks for starting Star Track. I always wanted to do it after seeing my brother doing it. When my body was on a Star Track bike I was so happy, I didn't even feel scared, with your loving community it helped to do something that people find hard and some people wish to do...
- Submitted by Stephanie Jones, NYC Parks Community Coordinator
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained"