The David McCall Foundation provided additional support to the thirty women who turned up at the Ulster Women's Training Day at Ballymena this morning. The training day organised by Ryan Connor and Louise Fullerton was supported by Sport NI and Cycling Ulster. The additional support provided by the David McCall Foundation ensured that this was a really great day for all concerned. A record number of women turned up to take part in the training camp. Numbers would have been even bigger except that the date clashed with a national camp.


Louise Fullerton, one of the founding members of the Ulster Women's Association said, "I am delighted to see such a turn out today. With the support of all concerned we have a very full programme planned and I hope that it augers well for the start of our Women's only League."


The day started with a two hour cycle along fairly quiet roads with Tully Hill thrown in towards the end just for fun!


It was then back to the excellent facilities of Fitness First in Ballymena where an hour long spin class was booked. Brett Thompson, the 'spin doctor', certainly knew how to make the participants work and they were all glad to return to the showers after the class.


Tommy Lamb even joined the class and was exhausted afterwards. He said, "I was amazed at the fitness level of the women today. We averaged 17 miles an hour on the run with no one getting dropped. This spin class was definitely not for beginners as it was a really good workout."


Following the exercise it was time to replace some lost carbs and the entourage headed for the Dunsilly Hotel in Antrim where a meal had been prebooked. Ryan Connor introduced himself to those he hadn't met previously and talked about their plans for the comning season.


Connor who has been appointed as Cycling Ulster Road Commission Chair said, "I wanted to meet the women today and get an idea of their fitness level. I was really surprised that we were able to stay together for the spin as even Tully did not cause the group to split too much. This will be a very promising group of women to work over the coming months."


Cycling Ulster's Talent Development Officer, Anthony Mitchell, Chairman, Tommy Lamb and Develoment Officer Marian Lamb all attended the day to help out.


                                                                                Report from Bernie Monaghan from Dromara CC


Many thanks go the group of support staff that Connor had organised for the day. Adrian Swan, Darren Crawford and Warren Francis rode with the women and helped out with the mechanicals. Hugh McCullough, a member of the Cycling Ulster Road Commission, drove the photographer and acted as neutral service and back-up.


Unfortunately one of the back roads was covered in muck leaving it in a dangerous condition. A minor crash occured here with a number of riders coming off. Luckily no-one was seriously hurt and only one rider was forced to retire with a lot of bruising. Cycling Ulster hopes she makes a quick recovery.


Cycling Ulster are very grateful to both SportNI and the David McCall Foundation for their financial assistance. In this present climate funding is increasingly hard to obtain yet we need the support to help us recognise and develop talent in Ulster.