Focus on Youths Group

Post date: Jan 31, 2016 10:32:58 PM

(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 31st January 2016)

Last Saturday the PRO department paid a visit to the Lakeside Wheelers Youth training base at the Clubhouse to see at first hand exactly what the future of cycling in Mullingar looks like. Well, based on the evidence, there is surely another Pro in the making for the Wheelers and judging by the gender balance, the girls are really punching above their weight.

Like every Saturday since last October, the “club” is a hive of activity with over 25 juniors attending for the weekly turbo training session. And, as of January this year, this training has been extended to twice weekly with a session on Wednesday nights added in to meet demand.

Going through their paces in the clubhouse.

Head coach, Philip Wade, assisted by Camillus Farrell, Eamon Hogan and Doug Bates were very busy putting the juniors through their paces. Nothing is left to chance with these sessions as the details such as Efforts and Recovery periods are all displayed on a TV monitor with a laptop sitting alongside for timing purposes. Along with this there is the absolutely necessary “boom boom” music blaring out to keep the pedalling action in synch and to keep the monotony at bay. This has to be seen and from what the writer experienced it surely sits up there with any professional team set-up. What was clearly evident after the session was over were the good habits and discipline which these youngsters are learning as they quietly went about returning all the equipment to the storeroom. All great future club ambassadors in the making without a doubt!

On completion of the session and after the heart rate came back down to “normal”, three of the participants agreed to a short interview. Conor Farrell, Paul McCool and Francesca Walshe are regular attendees at the Turbo sessions and all agreed it is a great way to get fit. When asked what makes them get out of bed at 8am on a Saturday morning, Francesca stated that she looks forward to meeting her cycling friends, Paul said he loves the competition associated with the training whilst Conor believes the training will make him a better cyclist.

Here’s hoping that the junior Wheelers stay fit, avoid any serious spills and injuries and no doubt, you will bring lots of glory to yourselves, your families and Lakeside Wheelers Mullingar. Thanks to you all for being such good sports with the “interviews” and for letting the PRO into your own private Saturday morning world.

The second question was whether they prefer the Turbo to the Road training? There were mixed feelings about this but from the responses, it appears that the Turbo gets the nod. At this time of year it keeps them in from the winter elements but maybe the truth lies in an answer shouted in from the side by Aoife McGouran who may have let out a state secret by saying that they get Jellies at the Turbo sessions. At least she was being honest and it was great to see that whilst they are focused and training hard, that the “kid” is still alive in them. All of the juniors who spoke were delighted to be part of the Lakeside Wheelers club and lavished praise on their mentors who turn up week in week out to organise these training sessions.

Speaking to Philip Wade who has assumed the mantle of Youth coach with vigour, it was made clear that all this training is not without goals and objectives. Philip outlined that the youths have a very packed programme of racing ahead in the 2016 season. There is more than a hope that the Wheelers Youth team will bring home silverware from some of the following list of races which they will be competing at. In March the juniors will swap to the Sundrive track in Dublin to practice sprinting before they head for the 2 Day Ras Na nOg in April. This will be followed by the Leinster TT championships in Mullingar and the Kanturk 2Day in May. Next up will be the Mullingar GP in July followed by the International Youth Tour in Donegal and the National Road Championships in August.

Lakeside Wheelers Youths group