Cycling World Magazine July 2017 - Page 131

July 2017| 131 “Likewise, we are working with Oaklands, an academy for Further Education students. Any student who wants to pursue cycling and wants an education orientated towards cycling can now start that at 16 – they can study for two years with Oaklands at Level 3, then join us for two years on a Foundation Degree and then top up to a BSc ons degree. They have five years in total of studying and pursuing cycling. Writtle niversity College is fast-becoming a hub for cycling. We already hold cyclocross education events here; we’ve had British Cycling here for their Level 1 coaching courses; and we’ve got good links with the British cycling officers, the local coaches, team owners and professional cyclists. I hope that we produce graduates that find careers in the cycling industry in whatever capacity that might be: a professional cyclist winning national titles or at elite level, but also, equally, it would be good to have graduates who become elite coaches, leaders in retail or product development, involved in revolutionising bike manufacturing, promoting cycling in their area, changing attitudes of local authorities in town planning, or working with charities to share the benefits of cycling. The key is that your ability as a cyclist doesn’t matter. Our view is that individuals can bring a variety of different skills to the course they might have fantastic people skills that makes them great coaches – but we will support them with that and provide the educational foundation and industry links they need for a rewarding and successful career.” “I think the academy is a great way of bringing the students from the Cycling Performance Foundation egree together with Team On orm. The partnership gives us all great opportunities to establish contacts within the sport, such as people working in the trade, or teams and riders abroad. Through the course, have been lucky enough to live in France with another member of the Cycling Performance Degree to gain racing experience on the continent. This has helped me gain a vast amount of racing skills as the style of racing in urope differs from that in the . Through contacts we have made through the course, we have all had the opportunity to meet and get in touch with all sorts of professionals, ranging from British elite team managers and elite cyclists, to people working in the sales industry and even charity workers. The course enables us to train and race while we study and the sports science side teaches us valuable skills that we can use, not only when coaching ourselves, but they also set a solid grounding for the skills needed to become a sports coach.” GRÁINNE HANLEY r inne anley, , from r