Chairman’s Report 2016

This is coming to the end of the academy’s solid and successful 7th year. This being our first year without a sponsor, since being founded, but with careful and agreed spending, and an ace treasurer, we have been able to maintain our exploits of previous years. This helped greatly by our end of summer grand raffle, of which we were very grateful to most of the bike shops’ help, not to mention all of our academy ticket sellers.
Membership numbers have levelled at about 140, which seems to be a sensible number at present, as should it increase greatly, this would only put even more pressure on people and resources.
This year has seen the Academy under the spotlight a little more than usual,with the Independent Review by the then ESC. Recommendations having been discussed by the JCA, have then been accepted and passed. The Academy was happy to accept all of these recommendations, and virtually all of these are now complete and in place. The review and recommendations can be viewed now, on the JCA, and JCAYA websites.,
We are continuing to strive to improve the level of coaching to coaches and riders alike, with a British Cycling Level 1 course now confirmed early in the New Year, and just recently a full weekend programme for coaches and older riders, with theory, practical, and observation sessions with a British Cycling Top Coach.
We have continued our very successful Wednesday evening sessions this summer, for all our U12 riders, with many new and old faces. There have been consistently high numbers every week, all enjoying a balance of coaching and racing. Many new skills have been learnt, as well as how to win and lose, which is a very valuable life skill.
On top of this we provide a great winter MTB series for all these age groups and older, with technical coaching and familiarisation on all the courses.
There tends to be a drop off of rider numbers when we get to Youth B ( U14 ), with children generally having to choose between 1 sport or another, not to mention that dreaded word “Homework“. This said, we continue to bring riders through every year, with this year being our largest U14 group to date.
The adults MTB are the first to see this increase in numbers, so watch out senior TT, and circuit riders, there will be even more annoying youths in red and white this coming year, to follow in the pedal strokes of the great rides and results of those this year.
This year we have had U14, U16, and Junior, Male, and Female riders competing at national UK level, at circuit, track, MTB and cyclecross, and coming away with not just fantastic experience, but also great results, which has led to some being invited to British Cycling’s Regional School Of Racing.
We had 2 riders, 1 boy, and 1 girl, who were selected to represent British Cycling South Region at the “ Youth Inter regional MTB championships” at Caitkin Braes, the past Commonwealth Games course. They helped BC South to its highest final position of 5, out of 12 regions, with a fantastic 2nd place team relay finish, with both individuals finishing top 20 Nationally after all the events.
We have a junior rider, who has progressed well within the local senior ranks on the road, regularly coming away with top finishes, and has copied these feats in the UK, with great junior road results, and also a senior criterium title.
On top of this, we also have a female youth rider, competing, and representing at Regional and Departmental level in France, on the Track, who keeps posting PB’s nearly every race.
This is just a brief summary of what we have done and achieved as an Academy this year, but hopefully you get the picture !
Looking forward, we are hoping to recreate our younger ages end of season “Omnium Event”, but next year open it up to, and invite French and British clubs, and maybe even Guernsey !
We are also in very early, but initial talks with maybe a Club House share, so watch this space.
Earlier on, I mentioned a lack of sponsor….. We have been working hard on this behind the scenes, and have had some offers of individual event support, and just recently, have had some very positive talks with a large financial company, which is hopefully very close to becoming our NEW SPONSOR !!
We also currently have 3 riders who are training and racing hard to qualify for the “ Youth Commonwealth Games” in the Bahamas, despite the difficult hurdles to overcome for qualifying.
We also have 4 riders up for “Island Games” selection. This is our largest showing yet, 1 boy, and 1 girl, in each event, all with a very strong chance of being selected.
That just about concludes my brief report, except to thank the JCA in my last year as JCAYA chairman, for its continued support to this,. THEIR Youth Academy. I believe there is now strong support and understanding from all the affiliated senior clubs, and moving forward, this MUST continue and increase ! We the Academy try to be, and are, completely independent from other clubs, but value all the help we can get from all the clubs, as ultimately it is they, that are the ones to gain from us !
That just leaves me to thank everybody connected with the Academy, for all their hard work , enthusiasm, and efforts. From coaches, parents, children, but mostly to my fantastic Committee, who work incredibly hard to keep the cogs of the Academy rolling. I feel honored to have been given the opportunity to lead this Academy for the last 3 years, but the time is now right for someone new, with new ideas and energy to take it forward. I hope whoever it may be, enjoys their time as much as I have, and together with their committee, produce many more successes.
Have a fantastic Christmas, and an even better prosperous cycling New Year !
Erik Le Brun.

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