ALTHOUGH Naas Cycling Club was formed in 1987, the sport has existed in the town for more than a century.
Currently there are almost 150 members, making it one of the big sports clubs in the town and during the year its members raised over E27,000 for various local charities including Saplings school in Kill, KARE and the Marie Keating Foundation.
Every weekend the club’s members train and race and enjoy leisure cycling within six groups. All ages male and female are catered for and members range from serious racers to the leisurely Sunday cyclists.
In recent years there has seen a dramatic rise in the number of youth members and female members.
Currently there are 23 female members who train and meet regularly in the women’s only group. New and inexperienced female members are welcomed and given plenty of tips, advice and basic training.
Without a doubt the youth section is the most important within the club and many young members have become involved with the sport through youth spins.
Youth spins cater for all young people over 14 years of age, although anyone from 12 to 14 years can participate if accompanied by an adult. All youth members on these spins are accompanied by at least two adult club members who are experienced and provide help advice and support.
The club youth spins leave from John Cahill’s bicycle shop on Fishery Lane every Saturday at 11am and there are routes of various distances depending on who turns up and how everyone is feeling. The youth spins are enjoyable and never too difficult.
Last year the club enjoyed great success with two junior cyclists, Evan Cunningham and Luke Gillespie who both competed in the international Junior Tour of Ireland. In early September Evan took 3rd place in the national Hill Climb championships while Luke finished close behind in 4th place. Already some new under 16 and under 14 cyclists who are developing should be very competitive next year.
The club is keen to develop a girls group aged between 14 and 18 and information will be provided in local schools. Anyone interested in finding out more should check out www.naascyclingclub.ie or ring 085-7533791 or ring John Cahill’s bicycle shop on (045) 881585 or 086-2217551.
- Paul O’Meara