Canadian Cyclist


May 24/02 11:56 am - Victoria High School League Cycling

Posted by Editoress on 05/24/02

High School League Cycling Victoria, BC

Job actions can't stop these racers

Victoria's top High School and Middle School cyclists recently wrapped up the 2002 Secondary School Cycling League thanks to some dedicated teachers and volunteers. This years Series was nearly scrapped as the top job of Race Director could not be filled by the small group of teachers who, despite union job actions, hoped to keep the series running for the 14th straight year. Enter Steve Lund, a former national cycling team coach, who now runs a private coaching service and the Teen Speed youth cycling club. Lund volunteered as Race Director and took charge of the 4 race series as it was about to be cancelled. "Victoria's School Cycling Series has given some of Canada's top racers their start in cycling", said Lund. "It's a great series of events for the kids who are already into bike racing, and a great introduction for new riders and racers".

In the past, each of the series' 3 MTB races at Hartland MTB Park have attracted up to 300 racers, but with a limited number of teachers participating as coaches (due to union job actions) for their schools, this years fields dropped to about 80 racers. "It was disappointing to see a smaller than usual number of racers this year", said Lund, "but equally impressive were the kids who lobbied teachers and parents to be their schools sponsor coach so that they could race". Emily Sandwith, of Stelly's, was one student who took it upon herself to get the necessary paperwork and team registrations completed so that her school could enter riders. "We had to get my Dad, and another racers Mom to come to the races as our school representatives", said Sandwith, "but it was worth it to be able to race, these races are a lot of fun". Sandwith, one of a hand full of cyclists who competes outside of the School Series, enjoys the opportunity to race against other cyclists her own age. "At the provincial races I end up racing in the open Women's category" Sandwith said, "since there are not that many young women who race. Sometimes I end up in the same race as the likes of Sandy Espeseth and other pros, it can be pretty exciting, but also intimidating."

Race Director Lund credits a small, but very dedicated group of teachers for making this years races happen. "I may have been the guy with the supposed top job", said Lund, "but the teachers who were involved did all of the behind the scenes work and without their involvement, it would have been impossible for me to pull everything together". "We were so happy when we heard that Steve had agreed to help make these races happen", exclaimed parent Brenda Hobor, "the school races are a big deal to a lot of the riders, and we were very concerned when we heard that the series might be cancelled".

The Secondary School Cycling League started in 1989 under the auspices of the Lower Vancouver Island Secondary Schools Athletic Association and the Greater Victoria Junior Secondary Schools Athletic Association in British Columbia, Canada. The League has grown from modest beginnings to now include 24 schools and almost 300 riders. The League hopes to expose students to the world of competitive cycling, to attract new participants to the sport, and to foster cycling as a safe activity in the schools. It is aimed primarily at new riders, male and female, while also offering a challenge to students already involved in cycling. For 2002 there are four races in total, reflecting a variety of types of bicycle races. As well as individual placing for each race, a team result is tabulated for Midget, Junior, and Senior Schools. Aggregate standings for both individuals and school teams are determined at the completion of the season.

2002 Events
April 11, Hartland MTB Time Trial
April 18, Tour de Dump MTB Cross Country
May 2, Revenge of the Dump MTB Cross Country
May 9, Willis Point Road Time Trial

2002 Overall Champions
Senior Boys (Grade 11-12), Steve Morrison, Belmont
Junior Boys (Grade 9-10), Andrew Greydanus, Edward Milne
Midget Boys (Grade 7-8), Herb Stark, Dunsmuir
Girls (all grades), Emily Sandwith, Stelly's

For more information please contact Race Director, Steve Lund @ 883-1949


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