Canadian Cyclist


November 1/05 10:59 am - Symmetrics Adds Women to Team, Sprockids at NCCH

Posted by Editor on 11/1/05

Symmetrics Cycling Adds Elite Women's Program
Courtesy Symmetrics

In keeping with Symmetrics Cycling's mandate to provide the best opportunities to B.C. riders, returning elite women Marni Hambleton, Maria Lee and Mandy Poitras will be joined by Stacey Spencer and Naomi Cooper to comprise the Symmetrics Cycling Elite Women's Team for 2006. This five-person team boasts remarkable credentials.

Mandy Poitras, a 15-time National Champion, multiple World Cup winner, and Worlds silver medalist on the track, will continue to race for Symmetrics on the road and will wear the National Champions criterium jersey for 2006. Marni Hambleton is coming off her best season ever with wins at Yaletown, TST, and Walla Walla, as well as winning the BC Cup overall and the BC Criterium Championships. Maria Lee rode exceptionally well in support until hit by a car in June ending her season but is now back on the bike ready for 2006.

Joining Mandy, Marni, and Maria will be Stacey Spencer and Naomi Cooper. Spencer is making a return to competitive cycling after taking time off to give birth to her first child, Lilly. Stacey has ridden for several top US teams in the past and has twice won the criterium at the National Championships. Spencer commented, "I am inspired to be part of a strong women's squad that includes world class riders and some of Canada's top talent."

Naomi Cooper is a Junior National Champion entering her first year as a senior. Naomi has raced both the road and the track at the World Championships for Canada in her junior years.

These two riders possess skills that compliment the returning riders, giving the Symmetrics Elite women's team a deep and balanced skill set for 2005. The race calendar for the Symmetrics Elite Women's Team will include local BC and NW races such as the BC Cup Road Series, BC Superweek, and the National Road Championships.

Symmetrics Cycling director Jeremy Storie says, "With the addition of Stacey Spencer and Naomi Cooper we continue to expand our women's program with an eye towards both performance goals and rider development. In criteriums especially I would rank our team right up there with any of the top US domestic squads. Symmetrics Cycling looks forward to supporting Mandy, Marni, Maria, Stacey and Naomi in pursuit of their goals and is very excited to continue to develop a women's program."

Giving Back to the Sport - Sprockids Ontario
Courtesy NCCH

October has delivered superb weather for the children of the Sprockids Cycling Program. Over the past few weeks kids have been gathering at the Ancaster Rotary Center, embarking on an adventure that many of their peers have yet to experience. Sprockids is a national introduction to cycling program for youth aged 8-12, committed to making a positive difference in the lives of young people by offering them a structured, fun way to get involved in cycling while helping them build self-esteem.

It is 9am Saturday morning, the dew covered baseball diamonds are yet to be touched, and the parents are yanking bikes out of the back of mini vans, car racks and pick up trucks. As the participants gather in the meeting room they are full of anticipation, wondering and thinking about the skills and abilities they are going to obtain from the Sprockids program.

Their instructors are also arriving, most of them traveling by bike, to inspire the next generation of cyclists and to share their love of the bicycle. Elite cyclists who train at the National Cycling Centre Hamilton (NCCH) have come out to share their knowledge and support with the youth involved in the Sprockids program. Imagine being coached on how to avoid obstacles by an Olympian, Sue Palmer-Komar, or how to corner efficiently by a National Champion in Marty Lazarski? These athletes, along with other NCCH athletes, Kyle Douglas, Jaymie McGowan, Amanda Sin, Krystal Jeffs, Kelly Bietola and Amy Moore have taken their time to come and share their experiences with the awe-inspired youth. Krystal Jeffs, a Canada Summer Games participant reports, "I loved helping out with the Sprockids program in the last month. It was an amazing experience because I love cycling. Seeing young children enjoy it as much as I do was rewarding. I started cycling 2 years ago, although, like every child I have been on a bike since I learned how to ride. The Sprockids program provides the children with laws of riding and proper bike mechanics so the children can have a safe and fun ride!" Sue Palmer-Komar along with her daughter Trinity are looking forward to enrolling in the program in a few years. She contributes "Sprockids is a great way for kids to learn how to ride safely and how to enjoy a lifelong family activity. It's been a great opportunity to pass on my love and passion for cycling to the future generation of cyclists."

The Sprockids program has been brought into the community by the National Cycling Centre Hamilton (NCCH) with help from the 2003 World Championship legacy fund that was created after a successful showcase of the world's best cyclists racing on the streets of Hamilton in October 2003. The legacy has also provided the NCCH to grow its programs to reach the development level as well as training some of the best cyclists in Canada. The goal is to provide the residents of Hamilton and surrounding areas with a high class training centre that offers programs and racing at all ages and levels.

The Sprockids lessons aim to instill a lifetime love of physical activity to help get kids off the couch and on their bikes. Participants earn stickers, stamps in their passports and water bottles when they master a set of skills. Throughout the program the concept of FUN is never forgotten. Participant Mason, aged 8 responded "I thought it was going to be fun, and it really was!" when asked why he wanted to join the Sprockids program. Nine year old Lindsay learned "the hand signals, how to fall off your bike, how to avoid bumps, how to do the ABC quick check and to change a tire". Most participants agreed that one of their favourite activities was riding down the 'Hill of Doom' and throughout the Dundas Valley Trails.

The 'First Gear' program has just finished the second successful run at the Ancaster Rotary Centre. Look for both First Gear and Second Gear programs to be run at the Ancaster Rotary Centre in the spring and summer of 2006.

For more information on the Sprockids program, visit Sprockids coach Amy Moore can be reached at and 905 525 9140 x27783.


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