IT WAS party time at Stratford Cycling Club when awards for 2015 were handed out to members of the club’s youth section.
The club has 207 members and almost 50 per cent of its membership is made up of enthusiastic youngsters. The club has seven coaches and three more in training and, with Louise Green leading this team, they can all be proud of their achievements.
The ages of the youngsters range from five to 16 and, with many different awards for each age group, everyone is in with a chance of seeing their endeavour and discipline rewarded.
Arguably the top trophy goes to the most improved riders with the presentation of the Robert Heenan Trophy and this was awarded to Charlie Johnson, but success was to be found in every category of racing.
Coach Mark Ellis specialises in track and velodrome racing and he has overseen a great development of several riders including nine-year-old Alex Burden being allowed to ride the velodrome despite his age.
Then there has been the great success of Charlie who, riding at Wolverhampton, finished second in the multi-discipline omnium where she won the one-lap sprint through sheer speed.
She then went on to Welwyn Garden City for the national finals where in her first year competing there she finished 18th.
Cyclo-cross racing has seen up to 35 youngsters arrive each week to race at venues all over the Midlands in the Midlands Cyclo-cross League, which runs until the end of January, and it seems likely the club will see six or more finishing on the final podium and two likely gold medal winners in the shape of Tamsin Moss and Spencer Corder, but even Corder is not home yet as currently his team-mate Lewis Tinsley is ahead of him.
Each week the coaches split the riders into age-related groups for training and and encourage them to ride in all types of events from circuit racing to time trials (age 12 upwards), cyclo-cross, track, mountain biking and as part of triathlon training.
They are further encouraged to ride with the seniors on club rides as they get older.
The potential is for up to 95 youngsters to turn up on Monday nights, so age-related sessions are necessary to cope with the numbers.
At the upper age limit John Chesney is currently fourth overall in the West Midlands Cyclo-cross League having finished second in the last round. Hopefully he will get into the Midlands development team in the near future.
Other prize-winners included endeavour awards going to Ellis Brown and David Hird, whilst road and circuit awards went to first placed Spencer Corder, second placed Jake Deaner and third placed Lewis Tinsley in the boys’ section.
The girls’ section saw Harriet Tinsley take the first placed honour, whilst second was Charlie Johnson and third Bethany Ellis.
The boys’ top three in the cyclo-cross awards was Spencer Corder, Lewis Tinsley and Callum Moss in that order and for the girls it was Tamsin Moss, Ava Piper and Harriet Tinsley respectively.
Other award winners on the night were Jake Gray and Alex Taylor (under eights), Baden Green, Thomas Charles, Freddie Jones and William Tomblin-Shaw (under 12s), Ben Snodgrass and Joshua Graham (under 14s) and George Day and John Chesney (under 16s).
Among the girls, Olivia Taylor (under eights), Jessica Marcroft and Annabel Jones (under tens), Ellie Deaner (under 12s) and Jess O’Reilly (under 16s) were also honoured.