AGM 2020: Secretary Report

Women’s Commission 2020:

  • Chairperson: Róisín Kennedy
  • Treasurer: Colin MacHale
  • Secretary / PRO / Coaching: Brendan Whelan
  • Off-Road Rep: Bernie Commins
  • Commission Member: Liz Roche
  • Commission Member: David Tilly
  • Corkagh Park: John Hammond/ Lorna Reilly
  • Munster Rep: Theresa Finn
  • Ulster Liaison Rep: Shaun McBride

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The Covid restrictions put a halt to a lot of events in 2020, however the Women’s Commission managed to run both our Intermediate League , and Corkagh Park Beginner League events in 2020.
We moved our meetings to Zoom,and kept in regular touch with Cycling Ireland.
The Women’s Commission have used the downtime to improve our communications with the governing body, and to be the first Commission to engage with the new financial guidelines & controls.

We selected a Team of 17 Riders (Senior / Junior) for the Manchester International Omnium in January. All riders availed of three days training on the legendary Manchester Velodrome, followed by a night of International Racing (With a prize sponsored by Women’s Cycling Ireland). This Women’s Commission Initiative is now a popular goal amongst domestic based riders, with many going on to feature and medal in the Irish National Track Championships. We would like to thank the Cycling Ireland High Performance Coach, and Carded International that often drop in to help motivate our riders.

Our plans for Teams in the Fermanagh 3Day and the Rás na mBan were well advanced, with Selection Criteria, Rider Applicants, Accommodation Booked, Vehicles Booked, and Support Team selected before the pandemic brought everything to a halt.

On the Track we were reduced to a season compiling of mostly National Championships, however the Women’s events have continued to improve, now being on a par or better than the Mens equivalent. We had plans to run Women & Girls Track Training days before the lockdown, and I hope that the new commission can continue its focus here. As we approach the National Team Championships, we will need to improve on what works for 2021, with some Clubs getting it very right with Senior Women, but lacking Girls below Junior level, and some of the very large clubs finding it hard to field a Team.

The Rider Race Bursary we introduced remains in place , and we were still able to support many riders across all Ages and Disciplines in our shortened race season.

Our Women’s Commission Rider Rankings are now a permanent fixture, and used by race organisers to grade entries. I have made some changes to the Points structure for 2020 that has made upgrades and downgrading a more accurate account of a riders ability.
Cycling Ireland rejected our Strategic Plan (AGM 2019) to remove Youth from the Women’s Commission remit.
We were unhappy at the lack of focus on Youth Girls by the Youth Commission.
I have since applied for, and was appointed Secretary of the Interim Youth Commission of Cycling Ireland. I will report back to the Women’s Commission, and I am hoping to see an improvement in Youth Girls participation across all disciplines.
Brendan Whelan