Derby College Group (DCG) has teamed up with the HUUB Ribble junior and development road cycling team to create a performance academy for aspiring young riders.
The HUUB Ribble Performance Academy is sponsored by Derby-based triathlon kit designers HUUB and based at DCG’s Broomfield Hall near Derby.
DCG retained its Ofsted ‘Good’ grading recently and Broomfield Hall has both sports facilities and residential accommodation which has been graded as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted.
The pilot programme launched last September with five riders studying Sport at Derby College and recruitment is underway for more Ribble youth squad members and other 16-year-old riders at clubs across the UK to join the Academy in September 2020.
Members of the performance academy combine further education qualifications with expert coaching, training and mentoring.
Each rider has 1-2-1 coaching from elite track and road racer Jacob Tipper and an individualised daily training programme which are both road and track based.
Under the auspices of academy manager Keith Atkinson, young people aged 16 and above will receive 1-2-1 coaching from elite track and road racer Jacob Tipper and the highly experienced training team at Broomfield Hall.
The goal is for performance academy members to secure a place in the HUUB Ribble performance squad with opportunities to compete in national competitions at weekends.
DCG Sports and Public Services team manager Nick Ramsden explained: “Derby is fast becoming renowned a centre of excellence for cycling – not least with the velodrome facilities at the Arena and the international success of the HUUB/Wattbike track cycling team.
“By using all the facilities available to us and utilising the support of the team of expert coaches, trainers and mentors, we will provide a clear pathway for young athletes who have their sights set on a professional cycling career.
“Our aim is to develop well rounded athletes with coaching and education that is much needed to prepare the riders not only to compete at national junior level, but also to allow them to explore the possibility of a future career in the sport.”
Keith Atkinson continued: “The number of riders taking up cycling as a sport in the UK is growing exponentially and opportunities for the junior (16 to 18) category and then progression into senior squads is exciting.
“We were therefore keen to find a college partner to combine education with coaching, mentoring, training camps, facility access and race support for young riders.
“The HUUB Ribble Performance Academy will support to some of these talented juniors and allow them to continue to grow and evolve as bike racers in a fully supportive environment, and potentially pursue careers as professional cyclists.
“This structured approach therefore stems the tide of talented young riders falling away from the sport – probably long before they have had a chance to fully develop and explore their potential.”