Latest news from the desk of Donna Dall
Words by Donna Dall
From the desk of PCS Coach Donna Dall...
This year has been a busy blur of National Series and National Championship races, MTBA Junior Development Camps and Major International competitions. Please continue to read the rest of my story....
QLD JDC, Brisbane, Australia
The QLD Junior Development camp I conducted on behalf of MTBA was the first of its kind. 25 keen young mountain bikers took part in the first in a series of State-based development camps on the June long weekend. The camp was a residential camp held at the Queensland Conference and Convention Centre, just metres from the very popular Gap Creek Trail Network. Ranging in age from 11 to 16, 2 girls and 23 boys attended the camp. Most riders came from Brisbane and surrounds but some travelled from as far as Melbourne and Alice Springs! I was assisted by PCS Coach Jodie Willett and a number of aspiring Level 1 and Level 2 coaches from all over Queensland.
We as a sport have some great camps, programs and development activities at a club level, and the annual National Camp at the AIS is always a great success however these new state camps are aimed at filling the gap between the two. I was so pleased and excited in the interest from so many young and talented riders and I’m hopeful we are on the path to nurturing many World Championship and Olympic hopefuls.
PCS athlete Cameron Wright said “I found the camp awesome fun and very useful as I learnt a lot about pre-race preparation and the importance of stretching. Being my first camp it meant a lot after only been in Australia for 16 months and not having this kind of opportunity in South Africa.
I felt confident in a lot of areas of riding and skills but also learnt a lot more in every aspect of riding. I found the knowledge of the coaches excellent & useful on learning how to use all my muscle groups to maximise my overall performance.
The coaches had a lot of race experience to share with us which was invaluable advice that I will apply in my riding. I look forward to being invited to the next junior training camp.”
Commonwealth Games, Glasgow, Scotland
The highlight of the year for me was definitely to serve for my country at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow as Australia’s XCO Coach to 6 talented and dedicated Aussie athletes; Dan McConnell, Andrew Blair, Cameron Ivory, Rebecca Henderson, Peta Mullens and Tory Thomas. The topping on the cake was of course the fantastic result for Australian Mountain Biking with Dan and Bec securing a bronze medal each in the XCO race for Australia.
World Championships, Hafjell ,Norway
And finally to the 2014 World Championships. Each year the UCI MTB & Trials World Championships is the pinnacle of competition for our sport of Mountain Biking and I was privileged to support our Australian team of athletes as the Australian XC Coach in Norway. While not on the podium, there were some great results from our developing riders. All our riders gave it everything they had and you cannot ask for more from them. The 2014 team has shown great promise for the future of Australian mountain biking.
What’s next? Well it’s now time for a well-earned rest from international travel that is for sure! I will be busy preparing PCS athletes for the summer months and getting them ready for the domestic season which includes the Australian Mountain Bike National Series and the Australian Mountain Bike Championships. The season kicks off in December and goes through until the end of March 2015.