Youth cyclists from across the province took part in the annual Cycling Ulster Youth Training Camp held in the Share Village, Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh over the weekend. Those in attendance ranged from Under 12 to riders who will be entering the Junior ranks in 2011.

The weekend got underway on Friday evening with the usual administration duties, including registration and room allocation. This was followed by a short talk by the organisers, Kenny Dunlop and Mickey McKenna on their plan for Saturday and Sunday.

Members of the Under 16 category took part in 1 ½ hour spin on Saturday morning which involved strength training on hilly terrain. The Under 14 and Under 12 riders took part in a short spin and practiced their skills in preparation for competition due to take place on Sunday. After a break for lunch, the young cyclists were introduced to Claire Jeffers from the David McCall Foundations which had hekped sponsor the event. Claire said that they Foundation would be delighted to learn that there was such a good turnout for the event and that she was very impressed by what she had seen do far.

Marian Lamb spoke next and impressed on the riders that it was only through the work of the McCall Foundation and the help of the volunteers, Mickey McKenna, Kenny Dunlop, Nicola Oldham, Niall O'Hagan, Edel Noone and Kay Hack that such a venture could be undertaken. Tommy Lamb told the riders about David McCall and recalled some amusing stories. He then presented all the riders with a bidon which carries the Cycling Ulter and David McCall logos.

Throughout Saturday, Anthony Mitchell, Talent Development Officer for Cycling Ulster took the opportunity to test the participants on a Watt Bike. For those of you who think this is easy, just ask Niall O'Hagan who also gave it a go. He said, "That was one of the hardest things I have done recently."

Following the formalities the participants then moved on to a range of afternoon activities, which while non cycling related, could be described as a form of cross training. These included Combat Corps in the forest, and for those seeking to get away from the winter weather elements there was Climbing, Fuss Ball, and Archery on offer.

Attendees also got the opportunity to learn the basics of bike maintenance on Saturday evening. Cycling Ulster Chairman, Tommy Lamb was also present for part of Saturday, passing on his many years of experience to the younger riders.

Sunday’s spin for the Under 16’s was over a flatter course but 30 minutes longer, the younger riders also took part in a short spin. The highlight of the weekend was the Ulster Youth Skills Championship which also took place on Sunday morning. Shenna McKiverigan (Banbridge CC), Ryan Orr (Orchard Wheelers), and Tiernan Muldoon (North Pole CC) took the Under 12, Under 14, and Under 16 titles respectively.

This was followed by a further skills challenge in which the riders had to maintain their movement inside a square perimeter. If a rider put his or her foot on the ground, touched another rider or moved outside of ‘the square’ they were eliminated from the competition. Newly crowned Ulster Under 12 Skills Champion, McKiverigan was the last remaining rider in ‘the square,’ taking the victory ahead of Orchard Under 14 duo Jake Gray and Ryan Orr who were second and third respectively.

As riders recuperated from their morning efforts following lunch, Kay Hack led the riders in a stretching session, giving them valuable tips on how to improve their recovery ability and how to stay injury free. They were then provided with training programmes for the winter period and the 2011 racing season. Mickey McKenna brought the weekend to a close by outlining the Youth Commission’s plans for youth cycling in 2011. The Chairman of the Cycling Ulster Youth Commission also thanked the David McCall Foundation for their support which helped reduce the cost of the weekend for the riders.

Many thanks must also go to the members of Lakeland CC who turned out to help lead all the riders n their various spins throughout the weekend.

Ulster Youth Skills Championship Results 07/11/2010
1. Tiernan Muldoon (Emyvale McQuaid Tyres)
2. Cormac Lynch (East Tyrone CC)
3. Declan Reid (Newry Wheelers CC)

1. Ryan Orr (Orchard Wheelers)
2. Cathal Clarke (Newry Wheelers)
3. James Mulligan (Newry Wheelers)

1. Shenna McKiverigan (Banbridge CC)
2. Dean Chambers (Newry Wheelers)
3. Katie O'Hagan (Ballymoney CC)

Square Challenge
1.Shenna McKiverigan (Banbridge)
2. Jake Gray (Orchard Wheelers)
3. Ryan Orr (Orchard Wheelers)