The Wales Junior Programme covers the Commonwealth and Olympic disciplines road, track and mountain biking for junior cyclists.
The Wales Junior Programme was added to the Welsh Cycling performance structure in 2011. Places on the programme are discretionary and decided every autumn. There is a no closed door policy and riders who are performing at a high level can be invited to guest with the programme throughout the year. Some will go on to join the programme at a later date.
The programme aims to create competition for places and strength in depth. However, to maintain the quality of coaching, the number of riders in the Wales Junior Programme will be strictly regulated. Riders are given training programmes based around their education and other pressures. With some riders at school and others not, the programme of training and racing varies from rider to rider. Longer training camps are held during holiday periods: the amount a rider can learn at these is quite phenomenal.
Wales Junior Programme riders have the chance to race in Europe in each of their disciplines. The Wales Junior Programme provides riders with the support they need to become world class athletes. They have access to a network of support provided by Welsh Cycling and Sport Wales Institute.
The Wales Junior Programme is part of a pathway of progression for riders.
The pathway begins with the Wales Youth Programme, where raw talent is identified. The most talented riders progress to the Wales Junior Programme then on to the Wales Senior Programme. This pathway ensures that talent is identified early, skills are learnt at a young age and that at senior level, more time can be spent on conditioning, not wasted on "catch-up" technical development.
What the coaches are looking for in athletes is a strong work ethic, self-discipline, commitment and skill. Sheer physical ability is not enough on its own. The willingness to work on weaknesses and an open mind to advice and coaching are essential.
As well as progressing riders to the Wales Senior Programme, the Wales Junior Programme goals are also to win events, medals and Championships at National and International level.
For more information on the programme contact Stuart Meek Assistant Coach firstname.lastname@example.org