Prime Coaching provide coaches for School’s Challenge Day

Some time ago we were approached by Twyford Church of England School in West London, to see if it was possible for Prime Coaching to provide two coaching sessions as part of the school’s activity week. The prospect of providing this is something that we immediately found an interesting activity to take on.

At Hillingdon Cycle Circuit we have access to over 20 Giant Defy road bikes that are all almost new and are extremely well maintained. These bicycles have been made available for community and education projects to encourage more youth of school age to experience the joys of road cycling. And so, two days of cycle circuit time was booked, and we started planning the activities for the riders to take part in.

All of the coaches at Prime Coaching have been or currently are involved in youth Cycle Coaching at some point in at least one discipline. The activities were selected based on the age of the riders – Day 1 was for Year 8 students, and Day 2 for Year 7 students, and were progressive skills based that would build confidence quickly. However, to make the day more memorable, we gave the event the title of “Challenge Day”, and the group were given the following goal: “By the end of this Challenge Day Session, you shall be able to demonstrate the basic skills for participation in your first ever road cycle race”. And then we commenced with the fun….

Bikes matched to riders, and crowned with the circuit’s stock of cycle helmets, we proceeded to introduce the basics of road bike handling. We started with stopping, starting and learning the mantra of “Inside Pedal Up!” whilst cornering, and introduced the riders to a familiarisation ride around the .93 mile circuit and pointed out some of the technical and safety features to be aware of. It’s only right to mention that we also had teacher participation – learning the same skills and drills as the young riders. The group was also monitored by 5 riding coaches and 2 static coaches to provide advice and feedback as the session unfolded.

The riders continued through the session learning skills that covered ascending, descending, gear usage, braking, cornering, and techniques to improve confidence, comfort and bike handling skills. All of the above then culminated in the “End Of Session Race” that demonstrated they had all met their goal by taking part in a 4 mile circuit race.

In summary, these two days were highly enjoyable – for coaches, students and their teachers. Feedback we received was that all students were suitably challenged, tired, but most of all, proud of their achievement. Medals, British Cycling wrist bands, and completion certificates meant that their time at Hillingdon with Prime Coaching was a rewarding addition to their activities week.

Please see the video below that captures just a few of the highlights of the day:

Prime Coaching would be happy to hear from any schools wishing to recreate some or all of these activities for their own challenge day. We would also like to thank Miss McGrath from Twyford CofE School for arranging this, and all the students, teachers and volunteer coaches who contributed to make this such a fantastic day for all.

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