From Soccer to two National Cycling Awards
“When I was in grade 8, NCCH and the Indoor Youth Cycling Program visited my school in order to test the students and identify those that showed some talent. At the time, I was a decent soccer player, but wasn’t really loving it anymore. I received a letter inviting me to join them. I loved it from the very first session; very shortly thereafter I started racing, and only two years later I won two National titles. Not only has NCCH developed me as an athlete, but also as a person in general. They have taught me discipline, dedication, team work, leadership, and respect among many other life lessons.”
Kaitlyn Rauwerda – Currently NCCH Elite p/b MGCC Athlete and one of the Youth Cycling Development Program Coaches
Words from Hall of Famer – Gord Singleton
“I would like to compliment you for your outstanding program that provides better opportunities for young athletes to reach their ambitions and pursue higher goals. Teaching the grass roots basics are the building blocks that develop Olympic Champions and later good Canadian Citizens. I’m envious because a program like this was not available when I started in cycling.”
Gord Singleton – Former World Record Holder and 1st Canadian Cyclist to win a World Championship
Your Principles, Engrained in my Brain
“2014 was a breakthrough year for me. As a 2nd year U23 my goal was to use my experiences from last year and try to put in good rides when it counted. Leading into the National Road Championships this year I decided to come home from Europe a little earlier so I could work closely with the NCCH and my coach, Rick Lee. This was one of the best decisions I’ve made all year, as I went into nationals confident, and properly prepared. I have been working with the NCCH for the last 5 years and it has given me the proper infrastructure required to develop fully in all areas of sport whether its professionalism, discipline, and of course peddling the bike. I’m happy that I am part of such a successful program. I see the kids that are coming through the program and I am constantly impressed with how strong, and professional these young kids are.”
Benjamin Perry – 3-time U23 National Road Race Champion – Professional Cyclist
The Value of Competitive Cycling
“My son Clay Stewart has been on the NCCH cycling team for approx. 1 year.
Prior to his recruitment onto the team, he was a 12 year old boy, slightly overweight, that had tried out for at least 8 school sports teams and not made any of them. He had been involved in house league sports for many years but it was more just for fun, not with any real commitment.
The day he came home with a letter from the NCCH inviting him to train with them, I was surprised to say the least- since he had been disappointed at being past over so many times previously.
Unknown to me, the NCCH team had brought stationary bikes into the school and tested kids in Grade 7 & 8 for speed and power and Clay was one of the few children invited to join.
I was thrilled and suspicious at the same time- wondering what the NCCH saw in him, that none of the school sports coaches had?? He was flattered by the recognition and said he wanted to try cycling, in addition to the other activities he was already committed to but not excelling in.
We made the commitment to 3 days a week training — and the changes in Clay have been remarkable…. He is no longer the self-conscious, slightly overweight boy- getting teased at school….He is lean and strong and confident…. He looks amazing, feels amazing and has a pride in himself and the team he represents.
Cycling in the organized way offered through the Centre has been life changing for Clay. He has received excellent, positive coaching, regular training, pushed himself to new challenges- always working to improve speed and technique and contribute to the team.
The Velodrome experience itself has been a huge challenge for him and one he is greatly proud of. The first time he visited the old London track, he was terrified but through encouragement and team work- he did it and is getting better at it with every experience.
I think cycling is a fantastic sport; a great physical workout, a great mental challenge, very inclusive as children and adults alike can all enjoy the sport for their entire lives.
April Harbottle, Mother of Clay Stewart
Words from Director of Development for Cycling Canada
“The NCCH is an outstanding partner that provides opportunities for young athletes to discover the sport of cycling and to develop all the prerequisites to reach their potential and to become the next generation of champions. The NCCH has an impact on the entire sport continuum including parents, coaches, schools and clubs. As an LTAD driven organization, there is no better way to develop the next generation of champions! I wish that each province could rely on such an amazing organization.”
Mathieu Boucher – Director of Development, Cycling Canada