ythan ql meeting

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ythan ql meeting

Postby Colin A » Thu Oct 14, 2010 11:05 am

Folks,

One of the main thrusts of the ql meeting will be to persuade Keith Stocker that we need a replacement development coach in our District. I get the feeling that they are not going to bother replacing Ewan.

What I want is to say that we are doing our bit to develop the youths but what are the SCU doing?

With this in mind I think we shouldn't mention about our guys going down to Dundee. That will just give them the excuse they need to not bother giving us a dev coach as they will think it's easy for us to go down to where they have one.

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Re: ythan ql meeting

Postby malcolm » Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:42 pm

As its the end of a Commonwealth cycle I doubt they will reappoint, plus Ewans job was via Aberdeenshire Council and with their pending cuts I would say that its a no go. When I spoke to Alistair M at the GGP he praised Ewan's work but I wasn't convinced they were that keen on replacing him. As I said before there appears to be questions raised about what Ewan should have been doing, ie: he had kids going round cones when he should have been identitying talent and developing it at Ingliston or getting a regional squad of juniors to the Super 6B races with some back up.

SC roughly know who will be riding in Glasgow in four years and most of them will be the ones supported by Braveheart and primarily from Glasgow and Edinburgh and ones who can ride both track and road races. Millar will still be riding according to what he said and Evan, Ross and the others will still make up the main team. Hoy, Edgar and Stewart will make up the track team and the other men and ladies who rode in Delhi will keep going so that they can ride in Glasgow with a few retiring after it. The main focus of the RDCs will be Dundee and the south as we have no one who is in that set up although had some initiative been shown both Callum Smith and Liam Cowie could have been part of it.

Thats why I keep saying that the obsession of Deeside with riding evening league TT's has severly damaged the development of cycling in the North East and if the rumours are true it will get no better as they can't decide what to do, who should be in charge, one group sulking and not responding to emails, others threatening to leave and a sponsor who has invested a whack of money in a one off training weekend and another new kit which will get its main exposure on a Tuesday night at Garlogie. Two ex DTCC riders asked about why there was no investment in youth cycling, got an unsatisfactory response and walked. I really like Alisdair but I seriously question the continued investment in a club that is essentially in turmoil and has an average age that is between 35 and 55.

Very little has changed in Scottish Sport when it comes to the North and North East getting a chance. I made the point in the open forum about the need to go to Dundee as someone who spent several years having to go to Edinburgh to train with the Scottish Squash squad. Everything was aimed at Edinburgh/Glasgow then and nothing has changed some 20 years later. All we can do is encourage the younger ones to race, I'm sorry but not to TT unless its in a track format as the courses are too dangerous and essentially inffective for getting them ready to race. They must race each other, get used to bumping elbows and having a go not fighting a headwind on an in and out course. Col's plans are great and I still think that Ythan should do its own thing as the other clubs are not interested. But, we also have to make Ythan attractive as a racing unit so that GCRT don't cherry pick. Now if a Ythan QL got to age 19/20 and signed for an Endura or similar then that would be success.

What Fiona and Andy do at Caird Park sounds the best as you get a quality coach like Martin Harris, and the racing is of a high standard but even with 4 years to Glasgow its going to be very difficult for anyone to break into the established setup. I sympathise with the older riders who enjoy TTs but the multi ability format is being used by almost every cycling body across the world, look at Cam Meyer from Australia, 3 track medals then rode the RR, Evan the same. Putting kids on drag strips isn't going to make them into riders that will make it on the road or track.

The main fault in ADCA lies with Deeside and they are culpable along with a few ADCA officials of stifling the sport for the past 15 years with an obession with running TTs instead of looking at putting on quality road and closed circuit events that support youth development. ADCA are years behind the rest of the country and only Ythan are making the effort to change that.
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Re: ythan ql meeting

Postby malcolm » Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:09 pm

In addition I would encourage our youths to have a go at Gold 4 Glasgow because you never know if you don't try.
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Re: ythan ql meeting

Postby Andy D » Thu Oct 14, 2010 10:45 pm

You are right Mal and I think Ythan QL is great but we can only walk, not run - just yet.

The Disco Juniors set up is still relatively new but has spawned one World Class athelete on the track (Kevin Sterwart) and several domestic riders of real quality on the road (James Smith, Andrew Leith and Matthew Hamilton) and with further development they could go all the way - but probably need to leave Britain to succeed!!

I think we are in a sporting backwater up here (no 50m pool, 'Sports Village' which is a giant fitba pitch in a warehouse - imaginative!?!)

Don't see that changing. We need to push to have young talent recognised up here and there are some things open to them but you have to go looking for it, nt the other way round.

Zak Loney is a real talent and needs to be nurtured to ride well by our club. If he is on a club run, along with any other good youngster with ability, he needs to be learning good habits in a bunch and developing skills, we all have a responsibilty there, that's the very least we can do, for Zak, Liam or whomever is out with us.

This Sunday for example, I would like the club run to work well as a disciplined unit, not spread all over the road, that's not to say it has to be a fast pace, just good riding and technique, I am prepared to try to get that organised to enhance everyone's experience - I hope everyone will buy into that.

Let's start at the beginning and work with what we have and use whatever resources (even out with the District) we have at our disposal to promote youth and encourage development.
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Re: ythan ql meeting

Postby Colin A » Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:21 am

I know it's difficult for anyone here but my point is we don't want to tell Keith that we are willing to go to Dundee to train our kids. I want every bit of support from them that we can crow bar out of them.

We have two coaches who are willing to do much more and it's about their development as well.

We have a lot going against us, poor facilities,poor support from the SCU, a district structure that doesn't seem to foster some good local rivalry and a lack of events for youths to take part in. What we do have is a club which is keen to do something. I'd hate to think we had given up before we even get started.
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Re: ythan ql meeting

Postby John Hunter » Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:33 am

so what your saying is, we want to show our enthusiasm and potential, but hide the fact we could do it on our own?

Look a bit needy but ideal for help?
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Re: ythan ql meeting

Postby malcolm » Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:57 am

Partly,because some of the individuals who sit at ADCA level will do their best to interfere. They have funds but apart from supporting race organisersI'm not sure where it goes.

I'm fully behind pushing SC as far as we can but the cuts at council level will affect any joint working and there were questions raised about duplication between what the SC RDC was doing and some of the established work being done by the councils. My own view was that the nice shiny SC van should have been taking an ADCA junior team to as many races as possible backed up by some of us seniors acting as mechanics/food makers. If each of us missed a race one weekend it wouldn't have been that big a deal and I reckon it would have been a good day out.

Olympic Pool- not as far away as maybe thought as some of the groups using Linksfield Academy have been told to find new facilities pending demolition. But if you were a parent and given what Hannah and Robbie Renwick have just done, then a nice safe and warm facility in Aberdeen sounds more attractive than spending £500 on a road bike and watching them going out to Torphins and back. Not every kid is going to be a top class swimmer but the risk of an accident at the pool is a lot less than getting dunted by a driver on the Banchory road or elsewhere.

Even if SC don't replace Ewan there are enough experts in Aberdeen/Aberdeenshire to ensure that the kids get the inputs they need.

You know the answer to most of this? It lies with a certain Mr McIntosh and Knockburn. If the rumours are true then he has a plan to tar a circuit at Knockburn and both triathlon and cycling win. Only problem is that he is in Deeside and looks to be investing in AFC and Cove.

Get the kids to have a go at the SC testing, even the triathlon one and see what happens. Looking at some of the performances in Delhi I think we all know that one of our own, outwith the politics, could have put on a decent show but that is the wall we will always be up against. Neil Brown was the national RR champion and still didn't get the chance to race at that level.
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Re: ythan ql meeting

Postby Colin A » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:35 am

We can try the "needy" tack before we go into the "what the f**k are you b*****ds doing for cycling up here" tack.


I don't think the track at Knockburn will be any time soon. I spoke o one of the com members at FFT and they said it was a long time before it gets going.

BTW. Bert M was at the GIBR and came over to the Ythan tent and said " I can't understand why Deeside don't do something like this to encourage people into the club".
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Re: ythan ql meeting

Postby The Loneys » Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:50 am

Having read all the posts especially as I'm Zak's Mum and concentrating on the bit where Andy says that Zak has a real talent, I just feel that I need to comment here.
As Zak's Mum, all I want for him is the ability for Zak to have some guidance in the form of firstly answering a few questions, yes Andy recognises that Zak has a certain level of ability - he only turned 14 late Sepetember but it's one thing turning up for club runs on Sundays, doing a couple of TT's at the tail end of the season and going out with Karl and I during the week and whipping the pants off us, but is he really good enough to get anywhere? His performance at the GGP and the Ellon crit suggests he has potential. Zak has never had any previous experience in competitive cycling at all, in fact prior to this July he never had a road bike (he did have a small bike made by his uncle but could never manage the gears changers so cannot count this one) he's spent all his cycling life on mountain bikes and that's just pottering about on family days out and with his pals.

There seems to be so many types of cycling around I would just like Zak to experience the different events that are open to him and if indeed Andy is right and Zak shows some real talent, then I guess the next step is how do we nurture that talent if he's got no coach and nowhere to train and no one to train with? Living north of Aberdeen near Mintlaw does not help either if we have to get him to Dundee to train with a youth club its not an easy journey but I guess as with any parent wanting the best for their kids we would be prepared to make this journey but the real question is why should we? We should be have the ability and facility to nurture our own talent locally be it Ythan or Aberdeen.
I am new to this cycling malarky and it seems like everything else, once you start to scratch the surface everything is politically driven. Can people not put their own agendas to one side and do what's right for the kids?

So my questions to everyone are.
Andy reckons Zak has talent but how do we actually know this?
Who can tell us if he actually has the right physiology to make it as a decent cyclist? I know this is not everything but its a great start.
Who can give him the right guidance on, nutrition, training programmes, to nurture his talent further ?(you know what kids are like they have an in built mechanism not to listen to their parents - advice needs to come from someone outwiththe family - we can only reinforce and ensure he sticks to the guidance.
Where can he train?
Is there anyone for him to train with?
Seems to me from Malcolms comments that if Zak goes much further we are going to spend a lot of time in Glasgow or Edinburgh as there's nothing nearer than Dundee.

I will offer any help that I can in developing the Ythan QL but I am not an experienced cyclist (only got my own roadie 2 years ago and I've done a shameful 500 road miles in this time) nor have I lived up here very long or been a member of Ythan CC for long and I have absolutely no idea on the rules and regulations of competitive cycling at any level but I have the enthusiasm to try my hardest to get something off the ground. Just point me in the right direction and I'm not adverse to writing a snotty letter or two to those who are blocking what we are trying to achieve.

Don't really want to be labelled as one of those "English who come up here and demand the facilities that are in England". But one point I'm not English I'm Yorkshire - there is a difference you know! and secondly I don't really give a stuff if it gets our kids what they need!
Claire otherwise known as Zak's Mum!
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Re: ythan ql meeting

Postby malcolm » Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:25 pm

Claire,

Even for seniors its politically driven in Scotland and thats in relation to any sport. Its been years since we have had any local riders on the national team and despite her efforts even Fiona is struggling to breakthrough the system. The money is in Glasgow so their riders get better facilities, Edinburgh is less than an hour away on a dual carriageway/motorway so its the same, even the Dundee kids can get to Meadowbank in an hour or so. Pretty soon the velodrome in Glasgow will open and the national interest will be entrenched there. I'm not being negative its just the reality of things and I'm not going to flower anything up.

Can this system be beaten? Yes but it needs a completely new approach from ADCA and a change in atttiude from some of our road riders. Unfortunately it also relies on Deeside Thistle as the biggest club to act but their internal issues are far from being resolved and is being given the rose tinted effort by another financial investment. I fear that like the other past financial investments it will lead to nothing except some PBs at the Bealach.

There has to be a regional racing squad at all levels from juvenile to junior to U23 to Senior and yes even to Vet. There is little point in having nothing after junior because that is where football fails thousands of youngsters every year. That means that the aims of ADCA have to be reviewed but that will be difficult due to some of those who are entrenched in their positions and from a racing side any regional squad will be fraught with issues due to the aforementioned attitudes/egos of certain roadmen.

Some of the advice that can get bandied about within cycling circles is also bizarre, once you find someone who you trust to give advice etc then stick with it. The amount of folk that read a magazine article or hear someone else discussing their training and then change their own training never to be the same again. Pretty sure Paul Lawrie wouldn't have mucked about with his swing after winning the Open knowing what he does now and he is now back with the same coach that helped in 1999!

Nutrition- again as a parent and having competed nationally since I was 12 I wouldn't do anymore than usual, healthy diet with usual treats. Nothing worse than restricting their diets, if they are riding a few hours a week they will burn off any excess and their teenage bodies will ride a circuit race or 10/25TT without needing gels or anything else. I have suggested to Colin that we get some guest speakers in to speak to the QL about some of the basics though and this would include mechanicals and physical well being.

We have club coaches already who can do the initial work with Zak. Only time will tell if he is good enough, I have been racing since I was 14 and have seen Scottish Senior and Junior Champions disappear because they were overaced, overtrained and badly advised. They were also told that they could be a pro, ride the Olympics or Commonwealths or whatever else. In reality and until the North East modernises its transport framework and facilities then to be in a position to make it in any sport you have to move, although Hannah Miley has shown that it can be done in a 25 metre pool in Inverurie but the majority have to move south to access facilities, coaches and everything else. My brother was Scottish Junior Squash Champion and was a pro in Aberdeen but moving to London didn't appeal but that was the only opportunity to improve as the competition was there. How many of the Aberdeen athletes that win gold medals stay in Aberdeen? Very few as they are at Loughborough, Manchester or abroad. LIke Andy I'm not sure what the sports village offers apart from an indoor training venue for AFC but I don't know enough about it to be sure.

Club runs- Until they are 16 the max distance they can race is 25 and from the advice I have had from coaches there should be no riding above 30 miles. It should be quality based and aimed at developing confidence in handling the bike, how to use gears and in my view most importantly how to and how not use the brakes. So long runs as per the norm are not suitable for juveniles know matter how friendly they are. They should have a seperate run on a circuit based course that allows them to repeatedly practice the basic skills.

Callum Smith has shown that he was the best junior in ADCA by a mile but that was all to do with Callum's own attitude and the deep knowledge he has about his body and its abilities through a number of years under the British Olympic Skiing Team.

Physiology- this might be something that Aberdeenshire Council can help with although http://www.gisport.org.uk/ might be a better portal.

Is it worth it? Yeah and I'm sure Fiona, Andy and Bill would back me up. I have raced against some of Scotland's best including Chris Hoy and the late Jason McIntyre and when you get to that level its great even when like me you can only hang on and not compete. I still use the same training routines that my first and only proper coach Norman Ramsay at Aberdeen Wheelers gave me although its tidied up a bit with inputs from John Hampshire at Fit for Purpose in Aberdeen who did the physiology testing in relation to what I am capable of. I know that physically I can race at the upper level in Scotland as before but knowing and doing are different things. I need to lose weight and access racing south of Dundee on a consistent basis and thats difficult when you are a husband, dad and are working. So I reassess what I can do and build my racing around that.

I'm not a coach as I have too much racing left in me but my contribution is to run the race at Alford so that there is a competition in place for the kids to access. My advice in relation to Zak would be to go to the experts at the Grampian Institute and the Gold 4 Glasgow and see what they say but always remember that sometimes the computers and mental tests can be wrong as Mark Cavendish continues to show that sheer guts and determination are equal.
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