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Road to nowhere!

Created on 01/04/2020 @ 11:45

Local young cyclists are clocking up the miles during the Coronavirus crisis, without having to leave the comfort of their own homes.

As Coronavirus picks up pace across Wales, tournaments have been cancelled and sport has ground to a halt. But Hafren Juniors Cycling Club has been quick to move its coaching online.

Taking place every Wednesday, the juniors come together as an online community, putting in the miles on the rollers from the safety of their homes.

Head coach Paul Bufton explained: “Two weeks ago, I hadn’t used Facebook Live and now we’re running online sessions! We thought it might help give our members a sense of normality and help them to adjust to what is a very new and strange situation.

“Previously, we were running four sessions a week and that suddenly all had to end because of Coronavirus. We had to do something, otherwise all club activity would stop and we wanted to do something to help the juniors be physically active. It also helps to keep our coaches engaged in coaching.”

With pictures and comments flooding in from across Hafren’s Mid Wales patch, the session was clearly a success.

Paul added: “It’s currently taking place on a closed Facebook group so that juniors can take part in a safe environment. We might open it out to the general public but we need to look at safeguarding issues first.

“Some of our older juniors are also taking part in Zwift sessions. Riding virtually with their friends and British Cycling members on smart turbos, they can be led by pros and coaches.”

Hafren Juniors Cycling Club was set up in 2014 and now boasts 45 members. It is a British Cycling Go Ride club which means it puts fun at the heart of high quality coaching sessions. The emphasis is on regular, local and affordable activities to make it easy to keep coming back and create a sporting habit for life.

Welsh Cycling Chief Executive Anne Adams King explains: “It’s brilliant to see clubs like Hafren Juniors adapt to the new circumstances and offering members a way of staying active while staying home. It just goes to show what a service our clubs, coaches and volunteers provide to communities across Wales.”

In 2019, the club was a runner up for Go Ride Club of the Year at Welsh Cycling’s awards ceremony while two of its coaches also became runners up in the Coach of the Year and Volunteer of the Year categories.