Platinum Profile - Kieran

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Club - Charlotteville Rascals

Q: What level are you currently at on the Cycling Award for Young Volunteers Programme?

A: Currently I have finished all 36 hours of my Gold Award.

Q: What do you enjoy most about volunteering?

A: I enjoy helping others and seeing them succeed. I enjoy helping out at both events and club coaching sessions.

Q: How do you think being a volunteer has helped you?

A: Volunteering has helped boost my confidence. I can now lead sessions in other areas from that of my volunteering experiences.

Q: Is there anything that you would change about your volunteering experience?

A: I would not change anything, but I would have liked to have got involved earlier.

Q: Where would you like your volunteering to take you in the future?

A: I would like to get involved in larger events in the future.
Kieran's blogs...

Blog 1: Promoting the club

Hours logged: 7

What a long day! I was helping to promote my cycling club at Woking’s Party in the Park and did not have any rest for 7 hours as we had a constant queue of children wanting to have a go around the track we had set up. Throughout the day I was asking parents to sign their children in so that they were allowed to ride the bikes, before fitting them out with a helmet and sending them across to the coaches so that they could be given a bike to use. We had to be organised because we often had a long queue, so as soon as someone had finished we had to take the helmet and give it to the next person so that they could go on one of the recently vacated bikes. Splitting the roles up between those who were volunteering really helped as it made the process much smoother.

I really enjoyed the activity, despite the constant flow of people leaving us with no breaks, and I think that it has helped me work better in a team and improved my communication skills between different members of the team. However, the real highlight of the day was Tony Doyle (twice world pursuit champion) coming over to see what we were doing and having a chat.

Whilst doing this activity I learnt how to get people interested in the club, so that they might come along to one of our sessions to have a go. If I did one of these activities again I would make sure that we had plenty of bikes and helmets for children to use. Also I would make sure that each child has the same amount of laps so that the queue is constantly moving and everyone gets a go.

 Blog 2: A weekend on Box Hill

 As a club we were invited to camp in someone’s back garden, which was quite large, for the Olympic road races. I helped put up tents and arranged them so that all the tents and cars fitted in. When the roads were closed I supervised groups of riders as they rode along the route from the top of zig-zag road to where we were staying. While they were riding we taught them about riding in a group and being aware of other riders in the group as well as sharing the pace making by changing the rider on the front continuously. We had to be organised because we often had more than one group on the road so we had to make sure each group had a young volunteer or a coach with them. Sometimes we had more groups than coaches so some had to wait for a coach to get back before they were able to go. As a bit of fun we timed each rider between the end of the zig-zag road and where we were staying. Each child was accompanied by an adult who was not allowed to give them a slipstream.

I enjoyed the weekend because it gave the riders a unique opportunity to ride on the same roads as the pros. It was good fun watching the road race as it came past. We got the children to make banners and write things in chalk on the road to support team GB. Loads of other spectators took pictures of our chalking.

Blog 3: 1.12.2012

Rascals reindeer dash

On the 1st of December, I helped run the final race meeting of the year for my club. We planned 3 races: a skills course on the field, a time trial and a scratch race making use of the recently cleared mountain bike track.

On the day I helped split the riders into categories based on their riding ability, with A as the people who race down to C for the smaller children who had not been riding for long. Before the riders started to arrive I helped to set up the skills course. This consisted of slalom, tight corners, a ‘round the tree’ challenge, limbo and a tight dog’s leg. The riders would ride round the course and be timed. If they hit a cone or failed an obstacle then time was added on depending on the fault.

The time trial was a simple race against the clock on the scratch race course. This included some climbing and descending. For the time trial I was one of the timers for all three groups and when all the times were in I was responsible for organising the final placing. I then helped the coaches running the skills test to finish with their group before going back to timing. Once the time trial and skills course was done we ran the handicapped scratch race. I placed the riders on the start line according to their ability within their group and times from the time trial with the fastest going off last. For the Group A riders they raced for 4 laps and the second fastest time from the time trial ran true to form and won the scratch race again, remaining undefeated. Group B raced for 3 laps with the race coming down to a sprint for the line. The group C riders raced for 2 laps and a rider trying out the club for the first time won. During the races I was responsible for calling out the riders numbers as they crossed the line.

While the prize giving was taking place I was helping to clear up the courses that we had used. If I were to help at this event again I would have another course set up so that all three groups were riding at the same time as some of them where getting cold while waiting for their groups turn.

Blog 4

Cycling session for beavers

As well as being a young leader with British Cycling I am also a young leader with the Scouting Association. The leader of the Beaver group I help at asked me to run a cycling session for the group. I agreed to do so and with the help of the club coaches organised a session plan which would incorporate the varying bikes and abilities of the riders.

Before the session I had to produce the session plan and write a risk assessment for the location. After planning the session I met up with the leaders who would help me run the session to check over the work I had done and assign roles, as well as set out a list of things the beavers would need to bring such as water, helmet, glasses, gloves and bikes, with the rule no helmet, no ride.

On the day of the session I arrived early, set out the courses that I would need for the session and made sure that everyone knew their roles. When the Beavers arrived I asked them to ride around a rectangle to warm up. At 5pm when the session started I called all the Beavers into the middle to do a bike and clothing check. Running the check with 20 6year olds was very different to running one with the normal club and after fixing several brakes and helmet fittings I had to cut the check short as they were getting restless. I then split the groups into those who had gears and those who did not. Those who had single speed started with a braking exercise involving a stop box which was run by one of the leaders while I ran the session on gears. I explained what gears where used for and made them do races in different gears so they could feel the difference. Once the group had finished braking they moved onto a mountain bike track supervised by several adults while I took the group with gears onto the braking exercise running through what order to pull the brakes in and about not skidding. After they mastered the braking the Beavers had a water break. After the break I let the children with gears onto the track while taking those without to play a few rounds of sumo. I then let them all on the track under the supervision of the leaders while I collected the cones in to end the session.

If I was to run another session I would plan more activities as the beavers grasped the messages and skills quicker than I had anticipated so they spent more time on the track than originally intended. Apart from the issue with timing the session was enjoyable and ran smoothly with few incidents.

 Blog 5

Race training

Now the road season has started, we have begun to run skills sessions for racing. This week we looked at cornering, as we had noticed that in the mid-week race many of the riders could have gone faster through the corners. Once I arrived at training I helped set up a circuit across the playground with varying types of corners from wide sweeping bends to tight hairpins. We then dissected the cornering technique for each bend and made the riders practise taking the right line. To give the riders an idea of the proper technique I was asked by the coaches to ride the course and demonstrate. After the demonstration the riders were asked about what I was doing while going through the corner, ranging from the line I took, to whether or not I was pedalling and how far I was leaning over. We then made them ride the circuit to perfect their technique. We then repeated the process with different entry points and looked at how it changed the line I took.

To progress from this we then made them ride the course in pairs and then groups so that they understood how cornering in a bunch was different to cornering alone. As the local road race has two or three age groups on the track at the same time we then practised having a faster group overtake into a corner and showed the riders how their line changes to be tighter or wider.

At the following race the riders cornering improved massively and they carried more speed through the bends. Next session we’ll be moving onto looking at pedal stroke and fluidity of movement.