The aim of the Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford Youth Challenge is to promote and increase cycling among young people through preparation for the 50km Kelly Cruise.
The programme which was funded by the Irish Sports Council and supported by Dungarvan Cycling Club was offered to 11 to 18 year old students from schools across the county. For a fee of €10 the young people received cycling Ireland membership and insurance, access to the training spins and entry to the 50km Kelly Cruise on Sunday August 25th. Forty-seven young people signed up and were encouraged to attend six fortnightly training spins from June to August.
An average of eighteen young people attended each spin. Before setting out on spins the from Dungarvan, the participants took part in different practices each week to improve safe cycling skills including pairs and single file cycling, hand signalling, pedal positioning, weight distribution, positioning for negotiating roundabouts and T-junctions and communicating to alert the group of potential hazards. Once out on the road, participants had the opportunity to put these skills to the test whilst enjoying the sunny summer evenings with scenic routes around Dungarvan, Stradbally and Villierstown. The sessions were led by Dungarvan Cycling club members meaning that youth challenge participants were able to train under the guidance and supervision of experienced and qualified cyclists.
Over the six training spins, participants worked hard and put in the hours in the saddle to improve their endurance, speed and road safety skills. Leaders commented on the groups’ improvement in road positioning, hill cycling and safe cycling of roundabouts. Feedback from participants about the spins was very positive with the majority saying they found it useful for preparing for the 50km and improving their cycling confidence.
Over the course of the Youth Challenge, Dungarvan Cycling Club responded to the interest, enthusiasm and demand for a juvenile section within their club. Following time trials over the summer, the club has now set up a youth division, with eight participants from the Youth Challenge now training with the club. Waterford Sports Partnership is delighted to see that the popularity of cycling is soaring among young people and no doubt it will only continue to grow over the coming years given this additional opportunity for young cyclists to train and improve under the supervision of experienced cyclists…watch this space for some future pro-cyclists in the making!
When the big day finally arrived the youth challenge participants were ready and raring to go! The day was a huge success with participants commenting on how much they enjoyed the challenging route and the atmosphere on the day. We hope the Youth challenge served as a valuable and worthwhile introduction to cycling for the 2013 participants and that they continue cycling in the future. Waterford Sports partnership would like to thank and congratulate all of the Youth Challenge participants that took part in the programme and completed the 50km Kelly Cruise. Special thanks must go to Dungarvan Cycling Club and the parents that helped lead the training spins, the Youth Challenge would not be been possible without your support.
Article Modified: December 14, 2018 11:43 am