Junior Coaching Programme
Cycle coaching for children and young people is well established within BMCC. All coaching takes place in a traffic-free environment, a requirement stipulated by British Cycling. Coaching the younger riders takes place at The Cooper School on most Saturday mornings in term time (but not during half term, Christmas and Easter breaks), usually with additional sessions during the summer school holidays. Other venues may be used at times to promote specific cycling skills and to engage with other bodies, e.g. schools.
Saturday coaching sessions are held from 10.00 to 11.30am, but riders are encouraged to arrive by 9.45 for registration and preparatory safety checks. Coaching is free for club members (annual membership is currently only £1 for juniors) but £2 per session for non-members.
The focus of coaching sessions is the development of core cycling skills which enable participants to ride more confidently, comfortably, effectively and safely. These skills are essential whether the young rider, for example, is cycling to school or shops, enjoying themselves with friends in an off-road setting, or entering competitive cycling games / competitions. Core cycling skills are fundamental to all the disciplines of cycling, including road, BMX, track, speedway, cyclocross and mountain bike riding.
Once each month (approximately), an alternative non-coaching session may be held away from The Cooper School. These include off-road rides in selected (and safety checked) venues such as Wendover Woods, and short (typically 16 – 18 miles) supervised road rides. The road rides start and finish in Bicester, utilise the safest routes available, and include a café break (just like the club’s senior rides!). For club road rides, junior riders must have attained a Level 2 Cycling Road Safety / Bikeability certificate, and be accompanied by a parent or designated carer. At intervals the club provides Level 2 cycling road safety training (for children age 9 and over), authorised by Oxfordshire County Council.
In the spring and summer months, junior club members have priority access to BMCC’s highly successful Time Trial programme, held on Tuesday evenings at the Weston on the Green airfield. Here, in a safe off-road setting, young riders have an opportunity to experience Time Trial riding in which each rider competes with himself / herself, perhaps thereby to improve performance over successive weeks. There may be an opportunity for a junior team to enter BMCC’s highly successful annual Team Time Trial event at the Silverstone race course.
More advanced coaching and developing the skills of older children and young people takes place by arrangement, at the Cooper School and other venues. Our coaches can support Track, Road, Time Trial, Mountain Biking and Cyclocross skills development. Visits are arranged at intervals to relevant specialist track venues like the London and Newport Velodromes, as well as our closest tracks at Reading and Welwyn Garden City. Road, Time Trial and Cyclocross skills are coached in traffic-free environments such as coned-off car parks, Weston on the Green airfield, and at Hog Hill, Hillingdon.
BMCC collaborates with other local cycling clubs (especially Oxonian CC and Zappi’s CC) to provide Road, Cyclocross and Mountain Biking sessions for young riders, and it is hoped that BMX and Speedway cycling will be added to the list of local opportunities in the future.
BMCC’s coaching is provided by British Cycling qualified coaches, each of whom has completed formal training as a cycling coach, as well as training in safeguarding children & vulnerable adults (all have CRB / DBS clearance), and in first aid. Currently we have five British Cycling qualified coaches who provide the coaching programme and support the development of all riders (see ‘qualified coaches’ tab). The club would welcome the parents of junior members and other club members to help with the coaching programme, including those who might become interested in training as a coach.
Currently BMCC is exploring the possibility of providing coaching sessions for adult club members. Potential subjects include leading club rides; off-road, cyclocross and time trial skills; cycling road safety.
Please see the club calendar for scheduled coaching sessions. A weekly update is emailed to the parents / carers of junior members, and a juniors section has been introduced to the club Forum. If you have any questions please contact [email protected].