Academy is seeking future stars

NORTH Coast Academy of Sport is seeking junior North Coast athletes who are interested in the sport of competitive road and track cycling.

Sponsored by Ballina Bowling and Recreation Club and endorsed by Cycling New South Wales, the program will involve approximately 20 North Coast cyclists, who will be selected through a combination of identification testing and previous results and performances.

Selection trial days will take place at:

Port Macquarie – Friday, 14 May, 4pm to 6pm;

Coffs Harbour – Saturday, 15 May, 2pm to 4pm;

Ballina/Byron – Sunday, 23 May, 9am to 11am;

Grafton – Sunday, 6 June, 9am to 11am.

The program will be underpinned by cycling clubs at Port Macquarie, Macksville, Coffs Harbour, Grafton and Ballina.

Coaches from each of the clubs will work with the selected squad members in their area to ensure they have a safe and supervised coaching program.

Outside of the intensive training camps, the academy cycling squad members will work with their local club coach and academy satellite coach to keep developing their skills in the sport.

Athletes considering applying must be between 11 and 19 this year and will need to live within reasonable travelling distance of any of the five north coast cycling clubs, so that they can attend regular squad sessions with their local academy satellite coach.

The tests used to assess and select the squad will be a progressive exertion 20-metre beep test to measure endurance, then to measure strength and explosive power, a vertical leap test and 20-second ergometer cycle test.

A practical cycle skills assessment will also be conducted to measure fundamental skills such as starting, stopping, balance and turning.

As well as looking for existing junior cyclists who already have competitive cycling experience, the academy is also working with the cycling clubs on the North Coast to assist with the development of interested athletes who are not quite at academy level.

With leadership from the club and following a carefully structured development program, athletes new to the sport will be introduced to cycling by learning the fundamentals of equipment, bike handing, cycle maintenance and road safety.

Then they will progress to beginner and then intermediate performance coaching.

“Another aim of the program is to identify and develop junior cyclists within our region so that they can feel confident in racing at club, regional and state age level within 12 to 24 months,” academy executive director John Kincade said.

“Working with their local club, new riders will be introduced to the fun and social aspects of cycling with a view to have them progress from junior to open competition in years to come,” Kincade said. To obtain more information and an application form, visit www.ncas.org.au or phone (02) 6620 3073. Applications to trial close on Thursday, 13 May.



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