New crop in circle thanks to Uni-hosted talent ID
Published on 24 October, 2007
A new crop of potential champion cyclists will have their first big test soon thanks to a talent identification process hosted at CQU Rockhampton.
Masters by research student Morwenna Kirwan recently scoured school Physical Education programs and coordinated a talent testing open day in association with Rockhampton Cycling Club, the home club of many previous champions.
Morwenna Kirwan (black shirt) with the talent-spotted cyclists: Left right top: Matt Ruckert, Trent Huff, Tim Hindmarsh, Mitch Stewart, Jackson Toole; Left right bottom: Greg Hindmarsh, Bec Stevenson, Nance Pepper, Taylah Jennings, Sam McNevin
The new squad has been training at Rockhampton's Kenrick Tucker Velodrome ahead of the Central Queensland University Rockhampton Cup on Wheels, Queensland's biggest track cycling carnival, on November 9 and 10.
The cycling club has had a talent ID relationship with CQU's School of Health and Human Performance since 2003 and has welcomed CQU's sponsorship of the Cup on Wheels since 2004.
This relationship has created a range of research and learning opportunities for students and staff in recent years.
CQU School of Health and Human Performance Associate Professor Peter Reaburn told The Morning Bulletin the Cup on Wheels was arguably Rockhampton's premier sporting event.
Dr Reaburn said his School's relationship with cycling had already generated a PhD thesis and a Masters thesis.
Research into cycling performance (in cooperation with Club members) put CQU's Ben Dascombe within a point of winning the 'Young Investigator of the Year' Award at a peak industry conference last year. Ben has since graduated with his PhD.
"Our School was involved with the 2003 Talent ID program - involving the Cycling Club, Cycling Australia, Cycling Queensland and the Department of Sport and Recreation - that has since produced one Australian junior champion and numerous state junior champions," Dr Reaburn said.
Morwenna Kirwan (black shirt) with the talent-spotted cyclists: Left right top: Matt Ruckert, Greg Hindmarsh, Trent Huff, Mitch Stewart, Jackson Toole, Tim Hindmarsh; Left right bottom: Nance Pepper, Bec Stevenson, Sam McNevin, Taylah Jennings
"The success of that program has seen us become involved with the only regionally-based Talent ID program in Australia for 2007 - again with Rockhampton Cycling Club - where we have created a joint CQU-industry scholarship with Masters student, Morwenna Kirwan."
The Club has previously held a Bike Chicks Development Program at CQU and has provided cyclists for research into the performance benefits of compression tights.
In 2005, CQU Vice-Chancellor Professor John Rickard welcomed Olympic champion cyclist Anna Meares as an ambassador for the University, following her enrolment with the University.
CQU Development Manager Suzi Blair said the sponsorship was a great way for the University to advance local opportunity and achievement through a prominent community event which was also ripe for student and staff involvement and attendance.
"Rocky is synonymous with cycling and is also known as an educational centre, so the links between University and Cycling Club help to build on those associations, while also supporting our region's elite athletes," Ms Blair said.
Rockhampton Cycling Club held a special talent-spotting day at CQU Rockhampton athletics oval on Saturday, May 26.
Participants were tested for their endurance, power, height and weight, with activities including vertical jumps, sprints and multi-stage fitness courses.
Since Rockhampton has been a springboard for national, world and Olympic champions in the past, the Club has been awarded funding from the Australian Sports Commission's National Talent Identification and Development Program to search for the next generation of talent.
The Club is home to Ken 'Reggie' Tucker, who is one of Australia's high performance coaches, and approximately 10 - 15 Level 1 Coaches.
"The Rockhampton Cycling Club has a rich history of producing cycling talent for Australia: Anna and Kerrie Meares, Cameron Jennings, Miles Olman, Jeremy Hogg and Glen Chadwick are just a few of the cycling greats to come out of Rockhampton," Ms Kirwan said.
The Rockhampton Cycling Club Talent Search Program is viewed as an important talent identification and development program by Cycling Australia as the Club has previously provided elite cyclists to the World Junior, World Senior, Commonwealth and Olympic Games level. Some of these riders have won gold medals at these competitions, including one world record while others are racing the European Road Circuit.
Cycling is a Beijing Athlete Program sport, with a track record in recent years that indicates a very high probability of medals at World and Olympic competitions and strong representation overall on the international stage.