Youth Review 2015

It has been another busy year for the YDS with some new faces joining and more experienced ones who are settling into regular riding as adults and experienced youth. We have seen riders move from the conducted courses onto the main trial and some youngsters taking on their first trial.

On the National front Tom Culliford and Victoria Payne have flown the YDS flag, with Tom finishing on the podium in the Youth A British Championship and Victoria getting top 5 results in the full ladies British Championship. Both have also competed abroad this year with results in and around the top ten of their respected classes in the Euro Champs. Victoria also dipped her toe in the water of World Championship completion with a result just outside the top twenty. We have international stars riding amongst us now!

The YDS is not just about riding trials, but also running trials. When I looked at the YDS setting and running a trial this year it became a fairly pointless exercise as I realised the vast majority of the squad are now active members of clubs and are regularly out putting in flags and clearing sections.

At 4 years old Millie Welch helped clear sections (well be carried around by Dad) for the end of year YDS training. The youngsters also represented the centre at Lea Fete, performing on arena sections to show what skills they have been learning.

This year we held the first weekend training and the youngsters were joined by some not so young trials riders in very wet conditions. It would be fair to say that the education extended well beyond the muddy fields and covered the social side of trials (aided by a few pints for the adults!)

Thanks to the hard work of Ben Bishop we were able to hold a training day on Forest Commission Land – the first I can ever recall, which was a resounding success and ended the year off well.

The YDS have received excellent support this year from the centre and also a number of significant sponsors, Kettle Civils, Bob Waldron and Mark Pitts. BVM Moto have also come on board and were present at the end of year bash with John (aka Lawrence) Luff on hand to give out some goodie bags and vouchers.


Taking the prizes for most improved were Freddie Bishop and Finley Kettle, with Hardest Trier going to Ollie Goode and Harry Ridgeway. Sam Smatham also took the prize for biggest crash of the year (fortunately only Victoria saw my big sliding crash when riding back to the van and she kindly kept it quite or it would have been me Sam).

The amount of youth riders competing within the centre continues to grow. Taking one event as an example, in 2011 it had 6 youth riders and in 2015 had 20 youth riders. Thanks to all the clubs that have provided us with venues this year and a special thanks to James Welch, Joel Edwards and Ben Bishop, who have all coached during this year.

Happy New Year

Simon Welch

[on 30Jan15]