The town of Ballymoney enjoys the world famous reputation of being the home of the greatest motorcyclist of all time, Joey Dunlop and the Dunlop family and it is now being seen by the cycling world as the place to go to for all things cycling.
What is involved is promoting the top events from the Irish National Youth Championships to the Road Race and Time Trial Championships for every age group in the sport of cycling.
The wealth of experience this gives any club is priceless and with only one event yet to be hosted, the Professional Road Race Championships, it has been hinted that already plans are being set in place to bring the top professionals to Ballymoney in the not too distant future.
The club is now growing faster and and faster with the well establish Race and Youth teams, the very successful Triathlon team with European and Irish national championship medal winners.
Recently the club have established the very popular “Rouleur” section. This section is all about health, touring and getting out on the bike. Nothing to do with speed other than, that everyone and their ability and objectives are catererd for.
The word Rouleur means a cyclist who does well on flat or undulating roads. The Ballymoney CC Rouleurs are looked after and advised by Dean McElfatrick and Colin Taggart, both with a wealth and lifetime of cycling experience. Dean is now the Ballymoney CC vice secretary, working with the club secretary Rhona Laverty.
The cream of Ulster Youth are coming to Ballymoney on Sunday the 14th of February for a coaching and education day, finished off with a valuable training run.
The youth academy formed by Cycling Ulster chairman Maurice McAllister and a few others is designed to coach the skills needed to be successful in competition racing and the knowledge to understand the sport and the many sections on diet, advanced cross training, weights and the gym even down to how to pack your race bag on race day.
This information is passed on by trained coaches and top Irish cyclists like Ballymoney Ras team riders Aaron Swan, Ryan Bankhead and Steven McAllister.
Infomation on the evnue and the routes to be used by the different groups will be announced very soon.
With the Juniors holding a separate training session on the same day it promises to be another top event. The groups of U12, U14 and U16 will see a good representation from Ballymoney Biesty’s Centra Racers in their ranks.
Ballymoney CC Biesty’s Centra club held their AGM at the end of 2015 and the positions are all filled for the next year as the club push for higher and bigger goals.
Thank you to lifetime honorary members, Charlie Dickson and Colin Thompson for coming along and showing support and their input is as always valued.
A very big thank you goes to outgoing treasurer and TT medal winner Mervyn Linton. Ballymoney CC wish Mervyn every success in his new position with Coleraine Grammer.
Club Positions decided at the AGM are as follows.
Club President - Hugh McConaghie
Chairman - Maurice McAllister
Treasurer - Philip Magill
Secretary and vice Secretary, Rhona Laverty and Dean McElfatrick
Safeguarding and Child Protection - Philip Logan and Christine McCambridge
Club Captain - Jason Taggart
BCC Rouleurs Rep - Colin Taggart
Road Race Development - Niall O’Hagan
Youth Development and race Team - Douglas Hill
BCC Woman’s Rep - Heather McElfatrick and Arlene Doherty.
The importance of our young people is constantly on the minds of the BCC community team of Niall O’Hagan, Rhona and Stuart Laverty, Arlene Doherty, Aaron Swan and Steven and McAllister. At the end of 2015, the Ballymoney club took a group of 32 youth members to Belfast and this was followed up last weekend with the group being taken to Bushmills for an adventure weekend of orienteering and some bike riding thrown in as well. This project is seeing some very rewarding work being done by Niall and his team. Later this month the group is invited to a celebratory lunch at the SSE in Belfast followed by a few hours fun at W5.
A full report will be published in the next two weeks on the County Antrim RAS team. This is the pinacle of our senior riders careers and with new riders recruited into the team an exciting year lies ahead. Ras veteran Niall O’Hagan is the director sportive looking after these lads.