The Junior Cycling Academy, which is financially supported via the incredible efforts of Jim and Lisa Bond and Dave at Cashmanagement, serves a long term purpose of developing athletes toward high performance outcomes in cycling. We presently service athletes from mountain bike, cyclocross, road, track and BMX across an age spanning 7 to 18 years. Clearly each individuals needs are different and thus the training systems we employ are largely tailored to each individual’s developmental stage and cycling related goals. Presently the academy stands at 13 athletes out of a maximum of 15. Several of these athletes have now been in the program for around 1.5 years and have shown incredible signs of self-improvement. To this end the academy focuses on self-improvement first, with results or outcomes often resultant of this dedicated focus.

We are pleased to report that our two junior BMX athletes recently won and podiumed in the recent round of the state BMX series, while our road based cyclists also claimed gold in almost 90% of the state criterium championship events on offer for juniors. I can say that behind these results we see huge improvements in personal metrics month to month across all the athletes, which is our main area of focus in honing individual ability. This is where real long term sustainability can be made, as personal goals based on one’s own performance often have a greater internal locus of control (the individual is able to control the outcome to a higher degree) then what they can with a result of outcome based goal. This has been shown, through scientific research into athlete populations, to improve athlete retention, well being and health over the long term: all necessary ingredients of long term success.

Aside from the 1-2 sessions a week at our service provider Exercise Institute’s facility, we also host the JCA athletes and parents periodically at workshops which discuss the nuances of resilience, effort, determination within a high performance context, taking a more wholistic approach to human development and self-improvement then performance alone. Alongside this several of the athletes enjoy a road based training session monthly and regular contact with our service staff in Julian and Fanny of Exercise Institute, whom are all tertiary trained in exercise science systems.

We will really see the fruit of this program over the coming 3-7yrs time though, rather then looking to shorter term immediate successes, such is the nature of all worthy causes: they take time, persistence and dedication from the athlete, coaching group, and supporter base. Exciting things to come.

Brad Hall, Sports Director