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May 24

Sliabh Luachra Cycling Juvenile Club

5Sliabh Luachra CC was established in July 2012 and from the very start we wanted to have a juvenile sector of the club. Juveniles are the long development of the future of any club of any sport. Cycling is a sport that was huge in the 80’s and early 90’s in Ireland mainly due to the success of Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche on the international circuit and that encouraged young boys and girls to cycle there bikes. Underage competition was buzzing in towns and villages all over the country but in late 90’s and early 00’s it died away for various reasons. Thanks to the Irish government introducing the bike to work scheme in 2006/07 it has sent cycling as a hobby to adults into overdrive and has been the reason many new cycling clubs around the country have been created like ours. In turn many of these clubs have since commenced with their juveniles. Since we were just starting in 2012 we felt we needed a bit of time to find our feet and build experience before starting our juveniles so we did in January 2015. We started with having 4 experienced adults trained by Cycling Ireland in foundation coaching when this was completed we started our juveniles with 4 weeks in the a local national school grounds learning various bike skills that would enhance them to be confident, safe and courteous cyclist when on the road. After several weeks of training we take the kids to leisure events  locally to challenge themselves at longer distance and with a little bit more experience we head off to competitive races.  In our first year we had 38 juveniles inclusive of both boys and girls.

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We hope to grow in the coming years and attending both leisure and competitive events around the country. Cycling is not like our traditional field sports we play in Ireland, you don’t have to be the best to make the team. Once you can cycle a bike we teach you the basic skills to help and you are part of our team irrelevant of ability.  The club also joined up last year to a new Kerry Youth Cycling Initiative that includes club from Killarney, Killorglin, Tralee and ourselves working together to promote juvenile road cycling. We found several challenges in the first year but one was the hassle of transporting kids and their bikes to various events, we were relying on parents and adult members to transport and we were borrowing vans etc. We made the decision to start fundraising to buy a mini-bus that could carry 8 kids and 13 bikes. We ran a raffle that has raised us 16,000 but hope to reach in excess of 30,000 to make the purchase. When we have done this it will give us great flexibility to travel further with the kids to give them the opportunity to pit themselves against bigger challenges. You never know we just might find the next Sean Kelly or Stephen Roche in Sliabh Luachra.

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Our next fundraiser is a leisure event for all cyclist the Tour of Sliabh Luachra on Sunday June 26th 2016.    Details available on Facebook

 

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