Hi guys, an exciting entry from the Mountain Bike Club this week…

On Saturday and Sunday, 20th and 21st, a group of six potential mountain bike coaches, made up of staff, parents and volunteers, undertook the MBCUK Trail Leader course, here at PSCA.
Saturday comprised of mostly theory lessons, where the coaches-to-be were able to learn about the expectations of them in their new roles, as well as some practical advice on how to help participants get the most from their bikes, ride safely, and learn effectively, so that above all they can run enjoyable sessions. It wasn’t all classroom based though, the student coaches were put through their paces in the playground, where they experienced the same skills course as they would put new riders through, taking turns to ride the course and grade each other!
Sunday saw the group head out to Plymbridge Woods, though sadly minus one person who had to drop out through injury (she will be completing the course at a later date), where they practiced delivering coaching sessions to each other. Covering the same topics as they would be expected to deliver when coaching, the group spent 5 hours practicing on each other, whilst also encouraging and supporting each other, all the while under the watchful eyes of myself and Chip Rafferty, the course instructor.
There were many great outcomes from the weekend; Ian qualified as a Technical Trail Leader, meaning he can take sole responsibility for groups on more technical terrain, which is a great result for both him and for us. Three of the group qualified as Trail Leaders, able to take riders out in less technical terrain, but still able to coach the full range of skills that our riders need in order to advance. The remaining two of the group, including our injured volunteer, Leigh-Ann, will be able to ride with other coaches and to qualify as Trail Leaders as and when they demonstrate the standards required. Last, but not least, Chip was suitably impressed enough with what he saw over the weekend that he has encouraged me to train and qualify as a full coach. This will put us in the position to offer performance training for those students who wish to compete at all levels, up to and including internationally, and would also mean that we could take students on overseas mountain biking trips, but I’ll need to sweet-talk Dave a bit first I think..!
Overall this was a fantastic weekend for the Mountain Biking Club, the way this club has grown in just 5 months has amazed me, and it continues to grow and expand in many positive ways. I’m excited to now lead a great team of coaches, and look forward to taking many more of our students out on two wheels in the future. If you or your children would like to be involved, please do get in touch cjones@schoolofcreativearts.co.uk