Youth News

YDS Dates 2023

YDS Co-ordinator Simon Welch has set the dates for this year' Youth Development Squad training sessions - they're on the 2023 Calendar now.

Simon: "Here are the dates for 2023 YDS training days and provisional venues. As always a massive thanks to the landowners, clubs, sponsors etc for their ongoing support. This year I have been offered the use of more venues than we can use, which is great! I have tried to miss Western, Wessex and Trials Training Wales dates.


All are Saturdays other than the long weekend:

  • 25th March - Entries open sometime week beginning 13th
  • 15th April -
  • 13th May -
  • 28 and 29th July (Friday, Saturday, then CDE Championship Trial at same venue Sunday 30th) - Longtown
  • 7th October -
  • 17th December (with awards do afterwards) - TBC
  • [on 07Feb2023]

    ACU Honours Simon Welch - 2019 review

    YDS Co-ordinator Simon Welch has been honoured by the ACU - more on that and the 2019 review here

    [on 25Jan2020]

    Youth Development Squad 2018 review/2019 preview

    A record 40 young trials riders of the future benefited from seven coaching sessions in the ACU Western Youth Development's seventh year and 2019 is expected to be an even bigger one.

    Saturday, December 15 saw the final session at Stroud Valley MC's Nympsfield venue under heavy rain, freezing temperatures and strong wind but most riders and parents stuck it out to hone their skills under the expert tuition of the coaches.

    Chief coach, 12 times ACU Western Trials champion and 2018 ACU Trailbike Trials Champion Simon Welch split the youngsters in to four groups from younger riders on electric bikes to older riders on the verge of the adult ranks before heading to a nearby pub to warm up and present the end of season awards for the squad and the ACU Western Trials Championship.

    Dates for this year are:

    All coaches are ACU-approved.

    Thanks are due to coaches Stu Belcher, Victoria Payne, Ben Bishop, Jason Bendall, Dean and Ben Lovelace, and landowners and clubs who fixed up venues to challenge everyone.

    Thanks are also due to YDS sponsors BVM Moto, Kettle Civils,and Benson haulage and Transport for their continued support. To find out more visit the YDS Facebook page or check back on the ACU Western website.

    [on 12Mar2019]

    YDS Dates for 2018

    Some 38 youngsters benefitted from the ACU Western Youth Development Squad coaching sessions led by Simon Welch in 2017 and this year promises to be even better. These are the dates, so get them in your diary!

    Keep an eye on this site and the ACU Western YDS Facebook page for updates

    21st April (Saturday) - Venue TBC

    28th May (Bank Holiday Monday) - Ewyas Harold - This is the day after the WVAC championship round and we are sorting camping.

    27th, 28th and 29th July (Friday - Sunday) - Longtown, Herefordshire - This is the now annual training weekend with an open trial on the Sunday.

    15th September (Saturday) - Barrel Lane Longhope.

    Was 6th Oct NOW 3rd November (Saturday) - Venue TBC

    15th December (Saturday - Venue TBC - This will also be followed by the annual awards do (in a pub somewhere)

    Dates and venues will all be confirmed nearer the time as they are dependant on coaches availability.

    [on 12Apr2018]

    YDS Training Camp at Longtown.

    A great 3 days. Read Ben Falconer's report of the training days, and The Sunday Trial.

    [on 2Aug2017]

    Next YDS Training session.

    Plans are all in place for the next YDS training day on Saturday 27th May. The excellent venue at Ewyas Harold is all sorted thanks to Dan Sanders and his team and I am very pleased to let you all know that south west star Ben Lovelace and his dad are coming up to coach. As normal let me know ASAP if you are coming as places will be limited. Cheers Simon

    [on 18May2017]

    Youth Preview 2017

    Plans and Dates for 2017

    [on 2Feb2017]

    Youth Review 2015

    How did 2015 go? Pretty well - read Simon Welch's review of the year.

    [on 5Feb2016]

    2016 YDS Dates

    New year, new set of dates for the Youth Development Squad to get out there and get trained!.

    Simon Welch has a provisional set of dates here:

    "Feedback has been that Saturday works best so went with all Saturdays," says Simon. "Feedback welcome, but will have to go with majority I am afraid. "I have venues in mind and next will talk to relevant people."

    [on 23Jan2016]

    Special venue for last session of the year - and get your YDS hoodies

    The last YDS session of the year on Sunday, 13th December is going to be a cracker at the awesome Forestry Commission venue normally reserved for the West Glos & Dean Forest MCC Boxing day trial. Ben Bishop has worked wonders to get this unique opportunity to use it and the plan is training from 10am-2pm then retire to the pub (probably the Orepool Inn, WGDF's meeting venue) for some food and end of year awards. Contact Simon please to book your place and let him know how many people will be coming with you so he can book enough food.

    BVM MOTO is supporting the youth squad and former Western Centre Trials Champion Rick Ferrier from BVM will be at the end of year bash to hand out gift vouchers to the most improved, hardest triers and biggest crash!.

    AND new Yds hoodies are being ordered this week,should look good! Sizes xxl - xs and 9-11yrs and 5-6yrs are available. Adults £15 and youth £10. Again, contact Simon Welch to order. Big thanks to Kettle Civils for subsidising the hoodies as part of the sponsorship.

    [on 3Dec2015]

    Longtown Weekend - 22nd/23rd August

    Simon has secured the fantastic venue at Longtown, Pandy for the first ever youth squad weekend. There is camping on a proper campsite 1/2 mile down the road with a good pub next door.

    Saturday will run 10am - 5pm and Sunday 10am - 3pm.

    Free for the Western Centre youth and £15 a day for visitor youth from outside the centre. As a one-off, I am allowing a limited number of adults to attend at £50 for the weekend to help subsidise the youth squad as the pennies are running a little short. We will have a new coach joining us....News to follow.

    Please can you let me know via email or txt if you are able to attend, or if you have any questions give my Dad, Tom Welch, a call on 01989 750298 as I am out of the country for next week or so.

    Simon is hoping to get a good spread of riders and ability there and also people are welcome to come and join us for a social on Saturday night in the pub. There are some good pics of the venue on my facebook page. Hope to see as many there as can make it.

    [on 31Jul2015]

    2015 Squad Training Dates

    Following a few date clashes Simon Welch has shuffled a few dates around. This means people should be free to support Zona 1 twinshock champ round and ride the CHG centre champs round.

    Venues are all pretty much confirmed and with two new venues it should be a good year.

    Can participants/parents let Simon know if they are coming as he needs to book the coaches in - the sooner the better. All sessions will run 10am - 3pm.

    The first venue will be signposted off of the A40 Monmouth to Ross road, info on the rest when finalised. Colin Crease is booked in for the first few sessions so expect a good day! We're looking forward to a good 2015!

    The dates are:

    [on 17Mar2015]

    2014 review

    The ACU Western Centre Youth Development Squad has had its best year yet - read the review of the year

    [on 12Apr12]

    December Squad Session

    The next youth squad coaching session is now set to be on Saturday, December 13th, rather than December 7th. Squad leader Simon Welch is riding the Southern Experts Trial, hence the date change. Currently he is looking for a venue near a pub, so we can have an end of year presentation too. Please let him know if your child is attending. Anyone with ideas or a venue is welcome to contact Simon.

    [on 31Oct14]

    Youth Squad October Session

    Due to a rather compact calender over the next month and with the opportunity to use a new venue Simon has decided to move the date of the next youth squad training session from the 6th September to the 18th October.

    On the 7th Sep G&C are running at trial at Longhope, will be ideal for all levels and if Matt Welch (sec) gets enough interest we will run a conducted trial. Its not officially on regs but give him a call and he will add you on.

    Ben Bishop has worked some magic and managed to secure us a mega venue at Longtown, Herefordshire. For those old enough to remember it's the venue that Gwent Schoolboy Trials Club used to use for their three day training camp, and of course the WVAC's legendary Olchan Trial. There is an excellent pub which has a campsite next to it. On the 19th Oct there is a WVAC trial running just up the road so riders and parents could stay over for a few drinks and food and camp over and ride the next day.

    Please all let Simon know if you are able to come and if you would be interested in camping.

    [on 17Aug14]

    Successful first squad session of 2014

    youth_session1_22feb14The first YDS session of went extremely well, says Simon Welch. "We have an influx of junior members on little bikes, so that means we have swelled to 24! Thanks also must go to James Welch who has come on board with the coaching this year and made a superb start. Anyone interested in getting their coaches licence and helping out is welcome to get in touch as I am more than willing to help."

    This session was at the excellent Zona 1 MCC trials facility, so thanks to the club for their support once again. The next session is on Saturday March 29

    [on 25Feb14]

    2014 YDS Dates

    samswoodProvisional dates for the Youth Development Squad have been released - more recruits can still apply to join a big squad this year. The squad has been boosted by the kind donation of adult riding kit that has been sold off to support the YDS this year - thanks to Mark Pitt for this. To see the dates, check the calendar or look them up here.

    [on 10Feb14]

    Round Up: Youth Squad 2013

    samswoodDuring the end of year bash the squad members all voted to decide on the winner for the following awards. So the below should be very proud as these awards are for the recognnision by their fellow riders:

    Junior Hardest Trier - Finley Kettle

    Junior Most Improved - Aaron Colbourne

    Senior Most Improved - Callum Colbourne

    Senior Hardest Trier - James Colbourne

    A lot has been achieved this year, as you can see here.

    Simon Welch says: "We have had some fantastic days out on the bikes this year and seen some mega riding from youngsters from 5 - 17 years old. New applicants are asked to to complete the application form and send back to me. Could existing squad members let me know if they want to remain as part of the ACU Western Centre YDS squad for 2014. Thanks to for all the support from the squad's generous sponsors, parents, clubs and the ACU Western Centre. Roll on next year - and the fitness test is making a return soon!"

    [on 12Jan14]

    samswoodYouth Training Session - Sunday, December 15

    The squad will be meeting on December 15 for the next session - this time at Hayes Coppice, near Monmouth. It runs from 10am - 2pm for training and then food will be ready at the pub for 3pm. Anyone who hasn't been in contact with Simon should email or call him before coming along.

    [on 10Dec13]

    Youth-run trials update - get your entries in!

    Plans are starting to come together for the YDS run trial on Saturday, July 20. Victoria and Izzy will be working with James Welch to put on the conducted route for beginners starting at noon as the rest of the team put on 10-12 sections for the main trial at 4pm. Remember all profits go back into the Youth Squad and you are guaranteed that all sections will be observed by YDS members. Please come and support the YDS members who are putting something back into the sport. See more about this trial here and get regulations and entry forms here.

    [on 17Jul13]

    Squad session change and conducted trial

    Due to the Inter Centre Team Trial, there will be no YDS training session on the 7th July (planned for the junior riders).

    Instead it will be at the YDS-run trial on the 20th July - a conducted trial will start at 12:00 noon for the youngest YDS members. This will give the opportunity for some to experience their first trial with the help and support of James Welch whilst the bigger boys and girls set up the main trial.

    Youth Development Officer Simon Welch will be in touch to allocate out the Clerk or Course job, Secretary role and Club Steward responsibility. The rest of the members can help plot the sections and observe on the day - Mums and Dads it's your turn to get the kit on and show them how it's done! See more about this trial here.

    [on 25Jun13]

    Clyro Training Session success

    ClyroThe Youth Development Squad enjoyed a good session at the cracking Clyro venue today. Simon was pleased with the progress the squad members made and really enjoyed teaching them.

    From the reports which have come back from to the Editor's squad member, a very good day was had by all. Big thanks to Simon, the parents and carers for supporting their young riders, the youngsters themselves and most of all Dave Burry and Mr A Price for sponsoring the day with the hire of the venue.

    [on 27Apr13]

    Updates: Squad membership update & 2013 Dates

    Now up to 20 members, we have an updated Youth Squad members list, with allocated groups, and an updated calendar with venues. Squad members are asked to check out the changes and groupings.

    Simon is very grateful to Ledbury MCC to be able to use the AMAZING venue at Clyro Court on the changed date of 27th April.

    And a reminder for squad members to let Simon know ASAP if they are unable to attend the allocated dates so he can open up free places to the other groups where possible.

    [on 27Mar13]

    Youth Squad Grows & Grows for 2013

    Centre Youth Development Officer Simon Welch is pleased to say that with an influx of applicants the Western Centre Youth Development Squad has grown to 17 members. This years squad includes: Jake Hoare, Tom Cooper, James Colbourne, Callum Colbourne, Alex Muirhead, Ralph Kemp, Hugh Benson, Will Culliford, Tom Culliford, Victoria Payne, James Saunders, Izzy Saunders, George Saunders, Finley Cullum, Alex Waldron, Amory Falconer, Aaron Colbourne.

    Simon says: "There are some exciting plans for the youth squad with the attached document showing the dates of the planned events. Due to the growing squad the plan is to split the squad into Juniors and Seniors. It is hoped that most training sessions will be able to have both groups together (provided an additional intructor is able to help out), although some days will be focused on either the Junior or Senior groups.

    "The first date planned is the 9th March with a 10 - 12 session for the new junior recruits and and 12:30 - 3:30 for the rest. I will be in touch with all squad members this week to confirm.

    We are looking for sponsors for the squad to help fund the training days and for clubs to put forward land for them to use for the training days. I would like to thank those that helped out last year with land, such as Zona 1, Gloucester and Cotswold, team Bendall and Sam Wilson and also thank Steve Saunders who is helping the squad out this year with his expert advice coming to some of the training days."

    [on 16Feb12]

    Steve Saunders signs on

    The Western Centre ACU Youth Development squad leader Simon Welch is delighted to announce that Jotagas UK boss Steve Saunders has kindly agreed to help coach the squad for 2013. Steve needs no introduction, except to say it's a real coup for the centre to have his expertise officially on board. Anyone who's been on one of his trials schools will know of the benefits of his tuition.

    [on 23Jan13]

    Youth Development Squad 2012 Report


    It's been a great first year for the Western Centre Youth Development Squad led by Simon Welch. Expansion plans are in the pipeline. Simon tells us more: "Following the success of the youth squad in 2012, the plan is to further expand it in 2013. The idea is to open the opportunity up to a youth development squad up to a the raw novice youths as well as the current crop of rising stars.


    "Those riders who registered with the squad for 2012 need to email me to confirm they would like to continue for 2013 and new applicants should complete the attached form.

    "It is hoped that the youth development squad can cater for the fresh starters in the sport and support the next generation of national ridrs from the centre.

    "I would like to say what a pleasure it has been to work with the youth squad this year and how pleasing it has been to see their passion, enthusiasm and must importantly fun they have shown this year through their riding. The improvement in each individuals riding has been clear to see.............well done team!!!"

    YDS Achievements 2012

    2013 Youth Squad Application Form

    [on 2Jan13]

    Putting something back...

    Good news - the Gloster and Cotswold/ACU Western Centre Development Squad Youth and Adult Trials were back on. Read how it went on Saturday, August 11, here. Results are on the Calendar

    [on 14Aug12]

    Youth Trials Classes

    There's been a few late changes made concerning the youth trials classes - read the link here on the ACU website to find out more

    [on 12Apr12]

    Next Training Session - April 15. Change of venue

    The next YDS training session will be on April 15 now at G & C's Longhope venue, NOT Hayes Coppice, near Monmouth. Most of the members will no doubt know this change of venue but spectators/old timers are welcome too.

    [on 12Apr12]

    ACU British Youth A&B Champs, Rnd 1

    Well done to all who had a crack at the Otter Vale trial on Sunday. With more than half the riders posting a three figure score, it looks like it was pegged fairly hard. Never-the-less, the Results on the Otter Vale website show Jake Hoare got his first British champ points with 13th in youth B, says Simon Welch. He reckons Alex Muirhead and Victoria Payne deserve a medal for finishing at all in their respective classes (Alex would have been 13th in youth B). Well done to all, including all the family and friends who made the effort to get down to Devon

    [on 19Mar12]

    Squad announced & first session

    Youth A: Alex Muirhead, James Coulbourne, Tom Cooper.

    Youth B: Jake Hoare, Victoria Payne, Ralph Kemp, Callum Coulbourne, Tom Culliford.

    Youth C: Will Culliford, Hugh Benson.

    youth squad

    The team got together for its launch and 1st practice session on Sunday, February 26 at the excellent Zona 1 venue or Birdlip Quarry, Nettleton Bottom. The guys and girls put in over 5 hours of hard practice to get 2012 off to a good start.

    Practice sections included some of the large logs and steep banks at the venues. It was great to see some of the elder statesmen from the centre (still all young at heart) out to see the next generation being put through their paces.

    "Can I take this opportunity to thank all those that have helped get this squad off the ground and we would welcome any keen sponsors to support the squad to enable these 10 riders to reach the standards they are aiming for," said Simon.

    [on 6Mar12]