The Under 16 criterium

“The youth this days” you hear a lot in a negative sentence, they just want to play their computer games, lay in bed till the afternoon and up to no good when they out in the streets and yes in some cases they maybe are, but I am seeing each weekend the opposite of that sentence! Last weekend the CU Youth Academy organised for the second time a “Festival of Youth Cycling” in the old grounds of the Maze Prison now a cultural event ground called the Eikon Arena, and at least something good came out of this place.

The Under 14 races a qualifier for Cycling Ireland Youth teams

Over a hundred youngsters from all corners of Ireland came together with their parents in tow to enjoy a full day of youth racing which included a TT, a Criterium and an Elimination race in all categories. For the youth commission of CU a stressful but awarding day with so many smiling faces, fierce competition between the girls and boys as young as under 8 and before and after racing being friends, and congratulate each other. This is what it is all about…having fun, learn some skills and respect each other.

Full results sheets courtesy of Peter Brown:

Under 8 experience some of this kids never will forget

I was invited to do the MC Job for the day and the Belgian Project media team was present too, this to capture every moment of the day in sunny conditions what even makes it more pleasant. Love such races as you don’t have to worry about traffic, enormous spaces for parking, and a cycling village with gazebo’s and mobile homes to get a continental feeling about it and reminds me of the events home. An eight-hour marathon on the microphone which I loved every minute of it, due to a bit of a Carnaval atmosphere with some rocking tunes to accompanied and a sizable crowd who enjoyed a day of non-stop racing.

The project even provide a bell ringer, Morris Dancing on special request

We will publicise the full results when received (just return midweek to this site) but here already some of the photos our chief photographer David Mc Veigh took and can be seen here on our Flickr cloud (they are free to download, just mention us when using on social media) All photos (except feature) on this report of David too and I am maybe biased but he knows his onions when it comes to sport photography and does this in a voluntary role to help out promoting our cycling!

Whoever would have thought this would be possible in the seventies…with the grim watchtowers in the background. Only negative of using these grounds is the cost of hiring, which is daylight robbery in my opinion (and the concerning council should have some concessions in the price to make it more viable) after all this sort of events promote their event and bring youth together of all different background, surely some grants could be released to help out such youth events (rant over)
This picture above a perfect image to finish this report…well done CUYA for organising this, well done to all the youngsters and a thank you to all the parents and guardians for their participation. All your kids are a credit to you.
The video who has captured the memorable day