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October 8th 2020

Younger Athletes Can Often Progress Very Well

I was sent something to read the other day by a colleague. It’s a fascinating read, relevant to all sports and I thought I’d share it. It was a piece of research about what’s called the relative age effect. The relative age effect is a phenomenon where sports teams are often dominated by young people who have their birthdays earlier in the year or soon after the cut off date for an age group in a particular sport. In other words, selectors and coaches, more often than not, select older participants to play in the best – often representative – teams.

The research found that when coaches and selectors were made aware of the ages of all particpants, removing the relative age effect, more of the younger players were given a chance.

There are some sports where early maturation is more of an advantage than others – cycling for example. The big kids tend to dominate early and then get the attention from people in the right places and the younger, often smaller kids, miss out. So therefore the relative age effect plays a big part in our sport and I’m pretty sure that you will have had experience of this.

But is that fair?

We’re just about to open the doors of Manchester Cycling Academy and you can rest assured that we wont follow the established method and automatically select the biggest, fastest and oldest riders to join us. What we will do is to guarantee that all applicants will get a fair go and we will leave no stone unturned in our quest to give everyone who applies a fair opportunity to get themselves on to the course.

We won’t have any glass ceilings. If you want to be the best you can be, we can help you. There is only a week or so to go til our first major event for Manchester Cycing Academy and there is still time to secure your place. All you need to do is to click HERE to book your free place.

Sign Up To Find Out More

September 30th 2020

We’ll stage our first event on Wednesday October 14th. Our ‘Find Out More’ event wil be staged online via Google Meet and will feature a welcome from my (sometimes) smily face, details of what training you can expect, from our Head Coach, Richard Bott and an outline of the aspects of the academic part of the course from our academic lead, Damian.

We’ll also be joined by one of our team of Associates, which are the team of academics who support the Academy. There will be more details on this next week. The event will last for 90 minutes and will start at 19.01 and details of the link to log onto will be sent in the late afternoon before the event starts. If you haven’t seen the details of the event yet, click HERE to sign up.

These are really exiting times for us and we’re delighted that you are interested in joining us and we’re looking forward to some exciting times in the future.

Former British Cycling Boss To Head Up Cycling Academy

19th August 2020

Former Head of Education at British Cycling, Dr. Vinny Webb, will head up the Manchester Cycling Academy where riders aged between sixteen and eighteen years old can study for a BTEC in Cycling Performance and Development. 

Vinny Webb

Webb, who joined British Cycling in 2013, left the governing body in 2019 to become a consultant with the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA), a role that he will combine with the Manchester Cycling Academy.

Aimed at aspirational riders, Manchester Cycling Academy will be the only Sixth Form College style course in the North of England and will take a holistic approach to their development, who will study a specially tailored BTEC course, which is the equivalent of 2 ‘A’ levels. 

Riders will receive input from leading academics and practitioners, covering Sport Psychology, Nutrition, Physiology, Physiotherapy, Strength and Conditioning and Coaching from some of the UK’s most prestigious sports Universities.

Riders Will Receive Input from Leading Academics

Subjects the riders will study will include anatomy and physiology and coaching, together with more cycling specific sessions such as tactical demands of cycling and how to analyse and assess their own training sessions. 

The course is designed for riders of all disciplines who are riding regularly who wish to progress onto a high performance environment. Academic studies will be provided with a yet to be announced, but well regarded academic institution that has a long history of providing high class education and which is graded ‘Excellent’ by Ofsted. 

The first intake will be in September 2021 and recruitment will start immediately, having been postponed from March of this year due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

Stef Hopewell

Webb will be partnered in the venture by long time colleague and friend, Stefan Hopewell. Hopewell is an experienced Public Relations and Marketing professional. 

They both met more than 20 years ago when they were involved with Student Rugby League with Webb being Head Coach of the Academic Lions, the British Student Rugby League representative team, and Hopewell was Press Officer. 

“There are lots of talented riders who will jump at the chance to immerse themselves in a full-time cycling environment and we are looking forward to receiving their applications. This week’s launch is the result of over twelve months worth of work and we are absolutely thrilled to be finally ready to launch,” said Webb.

“Riders will receive first class education and coaching which will set them up for a career in elite cycling or associated professions. We will take a holistic approach to their development and the input they will receive from the panel of world class associates will set Manchester Cycling Academy apart as being the best in the nation.

“Riders will fit their cycling training around their academic studies with training usually taking place in the mornings, apart from Wednesdays when the whole day is devoted to training and bespoke cycling sessions.This will mean that they are in a full time cycling environment which will allow them to develop their skills ready for the next step-up,” added Webb.

Fellow Director, Stefan Hopewell says: “Our business model of recruiting a panel of academics to have input into the course is totally different to the established model, where it is common for sports specific academies and colleges to rely on one or two individuals.”

“From day one we have built scalability into the plan and we are very confident that it will not only be successful in terms of attracting numbers of riders but in terms of producing high quality riders set up for life success. We’ve recruited some high quality commercial partners who share our vision and we are looking forward immensely to the journey over the next few years, ” Said Hopewell. 

More details of the academic partner, team of world class associates and coaching team will be revealed in the next few weeks as recruitment continues. 

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