This season, the Eastern Region Go-Ride Team, along with the Mud Sweat and Gears (MSG) series organisers and Essex County Council, have got together to create MSG Aspire. MSG Aspire sessions are quality coaching days designed for youth age mountain bikers in the eastern region.
The organisers have created this opportunity to enable riders to improve their bike skills and help improve the standard of youth mountain biking in the region. There has been some great work recently with coaching Under 12’s at the MSG races and the organisers would now like to extend this to older riders.
The first MSG Aspire Session took place at Hadleigh Farm in April. The coaching was led by British Cycling qualified coaches, James Scott and Andy Casson, with assistance from Talent Development Coach Rob Sharman and a number of others. There were 16 riders on the first day, which focused on basic skills. Later in the day, the riders moved on to tackling some of the features of the Olympic Course, including Triple Trouble.
Eastern Region Go-Ride Coach, Mark Wyer, organised the first Aspire Session and was thrilled with the day, commenting that “the coaches, riders and helpers all put everything into getting the most from the day.”
The second and third MSG Aspire Sessions, led by Graham Elliott and Steve Manser at Hadleigh and Thetford Forest, were also very successful. Eastern Region Board Member, Graham Elliott, said: “It is very pleasing to see the improvements wrought across the board, especially technically. It reflects the active support of MTB by Essex County Council, to ensure a positive Olympic legacy from Hadleigh. Aspire is one of those legacy programs, and it is really pleasing to see the breadth and ability of our young talent expand largely because of it.”
Keely Bunton, Eastern Region Inter-Regional MTB Team Manager, said: “It's a great opportunity for me to observe the riders skill level outside of races and it’s a chance for these riders to have access to high level coaching. It gives the Under 12 riders something to aim for when they move up categories, so it’s great at developing riders now and for the future.”
Thanks must go to the coaches named above, as well as assistant coaches, Paul Barry, Ed Beighton, Graham Berry, Keely Bunton, Jackie Field, Bruce Mackie, Tony Madgwick, and Chris Smith, young volunteer James Madgwick and mechanic Jon Smith.