Cycling Australia (CA) recognises that 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, and in particular for our junior riders.
Over the past few months, CA has been actively working to provide participation opportunities for our junior riders through the National Junior Racing Series on RGT, the National Virtual Training Camp, Virtual Training Opportunities with the Australian Cycling Team and the National Virtual Track Challenge.
Therefore, we’d like to take this opportunity to provide an update on junior competition and participation opportunities over the next few months.
CA has worked closely with Cycling New South Wales and the Wagga Wagga Cycling Club to seek to ensure that the Championships would proceed.
However, after significant review and consultation, it has been decided that it would not be in the best interests of the sport, or for the riders and their parents, for the event to take place and accordingly the Championships will be cancelled for 2020.
While we understand that this decision will be extremely disappointing for athletes, coaches and riders, this decision was not taken lightly.
CA’s decision was made based on factors including:
Cycling Australia would like to thank the Wagga Wagga Cycling Club and Cycling New South Wales in their collaboration to explore every option to deliver the Championships.
To support the development of our junior athletes, Cycling Australia will conduct a series of National Training camps throughout Australia that will provide development opportunities to all junior riders and coaches to develop their skills.
These camps will feature top coaches and athletes to help support the development of riders during these challenging times.
Cycling Australia is also pleased to commit to the National Junior Track Series for 2020-2021. To provide assurances that the competition will go forward, CA has developed both traditional and virtual formats.
In collaboration with the NJTS State Coordinators, the NJTS has also been reformatted to better support increased participation by junior athletes.
The measures CA has taken to try to achieve this include removing caps on the number of riders permitted in a club team, allowing smaller states to more easily create composite teams, recognising and supporting coach development in club teams and changing the program to better align with the Australian Cycling Team performance pathway.
For further information, please see the 2020-2021 National Junior Track Series Handbook.
To support increasing junior participation and the athlete development pathway, we will re-align the competition framework for juniors over the next three months.
This will include an integrated National Junior Series to encourage cross-discipline participation, plus the expansion of ESport opportunities aimed at increasing skill development and enjoyment of the sport.
We are also pleased that we have been able to finalise the Championship locations for the 2021 and 2022 Junior Road National Championships which will be announced in November.