Junior Records

Posted: November 21, 2012 in Opinion

Unlike other junior sports, it is nigh on impossible to work out what a lot of the underage junior records are in cycling.  Not only that, but different states feature different distances for junior championships – even on the track!?!  It’s a real shame that, from what I can find, no state federation has up-to-date junior records.  Neither does CA have any records for the younger categories and only has limited records for the under-15 and under-17 categories from National Championships.

Championship winners from last years Junior Track Nationals… but where are the records for the under-11s and under-13s?

Someone needs to take on the roll of archiver in each state to collate results and clarify records.  CA (via its Track Commission) also needs to mandate state junior championship events and distances so we can start have some uniformity.  It’s not rocket science!

Why are records so important?  It allows kids (and the parents) to see how they’re going; see where they fit in on a state and national level and compare themselves with great riders past.  They act as a motivation and as a measuring stick.  It also allows the sport to measure its health and identify potential champions at an earlier age.

CA has come from the dark ages when it comes to servicing its members.  It has failed miserably with its attempts to update entry and other member services through its deal with IMG (the new entry system, that VIC, NSW and TAS still won’t use because of the inflated fees and lack of functionality).  It needs to allocate resources, and assist its State Federations, to archive their records.

It also needs to continually improve its junior pathway – especially for the younger juniors.  Again, learn lessons from other sports that identify kids as young as 8 or 9 and let them know they’re on the radar.  In cycling, you’re lucky if you’re identified as a second-year under-15 rider (so at 13 or 14) – up until then it is unlikely that anybody from cycling has said anything to you.  And unfortunately it is unlikely that anyone in cycling has even heard of you even if you’re winning races!

Young juniors need records not rabbit suits to motivate them and to give them, and their parents, a way of comparing with champions past.

Track and road don’t have to look far to learn about how to manage junior racing.  BMX has state, national and even world championships for riders as young as 6!  I’m not suggesting that needs to happen for track/road, but there does need to be better structured pathways for young kids, as well as recognition when they’re going well.  It doesn’t need to be much, just someone official coming up and saying, ‘we’re keeping our eye on you… keep working hard.’  That would mean the world to the kid, and keep the parents motivated to keep driving them around and paying for gear and race entries.

Come on CA and the state federations… I reckon you could even get a volunteer into to do the archiving!

  1. Pete says:

    I think CQ has J11 & J13 records or 200 and 500 online somewhere.
    I found them when interested to compare some times.

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