Cycling bodies need a programme to have schools involved

Davy Kane is in no doubt how cycling in Ireland, and in particular in the north of the island, can grow.

You don’t need to be an Einstein to work out that teaching the rudimental skills to boys and girls as early as possible is the key.

“We should get them at school,” said Davy who represented Ireland in all competitions a record 32 times.

“If we could just get the cycling authorities (Cycling Ireland and Cycling Ulster) to get some type of a programme to take into the schools and encourage boys, and girls to get into the sport. Start them at a young age.”

Davy, like umpteen people before him, re-iterates the need for a velodrome here.

“We definitely need a Velodrome, that’s where the young people can start and learn. In Manchester they have school kids getting proper coaching and learning how to handle a bike.

“You only have to look at what the Manchester velodrome did for cycling right at the beginning.

“It all started with Jason Queally winning the individual gold medal at the Sydney Olympics. He started it all and the sport just escalated.

“We have two world track champions in Marty Irvine and Wendy Houvenaghel, but they have to train seriously across the water. In fact, Marty Irvine spends a lot of time training on the track in Majorca.

“We have the old Orangefield Track in east Belfast, but it is a bit delapidated having been built in 1957.

“So definitely I would love to see the government spend a bit of money to build an indoor cycling track, and the sooner the better to jump on the back of the Giro,” said Davy who also wants to see more cycle lanes throughout the province.

“Belfast is a very old city, and it is hard with the current infrastructure.

“Sustrans (which pioneered a ‘safe route’ structure in the united Kingdom) and the government are doing their best.

“But I would love to see them add cycle lanes to any new roads being built or old ones being re-vamped,” added Davy.