British Cycling will hold its inaugural Inter-Regional Youth Track Championships on 4-6 September 2009. The competition, open to teams of Youth riders from each of the 10 English regions, Scotland, Ulster and Wales, will take place at the Newport velodrome as part of the UK School Games - an Olympic style multi-sport event.
The cycling events will include a full World Championship Programme for Youth boys and girls and the results of every event will be combined in the form of a Team Omnium to determine the Inter-Regional Championship.
Backed by the Youth Sport Trust and National Lottery, the UK School Games are being held as part of the build up to the 2012 Olympics and offers a chance for school aged athletes in 10 different sports to compete for their region/nation in much the same way as the Elite compete for their country at the Olympic Games. All the competitors will stay in an athletes’ village and the event includes an opening ceremony and a number of out of competition development activities for the competitors, such as the chance to meet and ask questions with current Olympians. The event will be televised and covered by the National press.
Gary Coltman, Performance Manager of British Cycling's Olympic Talent Programme, said: "I'm very excited at the prospect of an Inter-Regional Championships. For continued success into the future, I believe it is extremely important to underpin our World Class Programmes with strong regional and inter-regional activity. Given the recent success of the GB Cycling Team, and the growth that the sport is currently enjoying, there is no better time to help the development in this area and assist in providing the youngsters with increased opportunity to represent their region. Competing in a team environment is an important part of a young athlete’s development and I am confident that this exciting new event will be an inspiring opportunity for youth riders across the country to work towards being a part of."
George Gilbert, Event Organiser, commented: "The Inter-Regional Championships will provide a focal point for the development of youth racing within each of the regions and a lasting legacy of the build up to the 2012 Olympics. By holding the first Championship as part of the UK School Games it will be a fantastic opportunity to showcase the wealth of Youth talent we have across the country."
Dave Brailsford, Performance Director, British Cycling, said: “It’s imperative that we create a solid pathway and ensure exciting competition experiences exist for talented youngsters to progress and flourish towards their full potential. The launch of the Inter-Regional Championships provides another piece of the jigsaw that will not only help to ensure future success of the Great Britain Cycling Team but also continue to build on the exciting development of the sport of cycling at all levels across the UK”.
Ian Drake, CEO, British Cycling, said: “The inclusion of cycling in the UK School Games presents an excellent opportunity to showcase cycling as a sport amongst young people and for the up and coming talent across the country to come together in a team environment to compete at the highest level. It will be hugely inspirational for all the athletes involved and will help develop and nurture a future generation of world class talent.”
Youth riders who are interested in taking part should apply to their region for details about the selection process.
For further information about the UK School Games visit www.ukschoolgames.com
Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning road.cc - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.