Cycling: Shenna set to race for Team Sky

Shenna McKiverigan.
Shenna McKiverigan.

Banbridge Cycling Club’s promising 16-year-old Shenna McKiverigan has been invited to participate in the Chris Hoy Future Stars Track Race Series.

The elite competition for boys and girls is designed to develop the UK’s brightest young cycling talent by providing them with the opportunity to race in front of large crowds at the biggest of the international track cycling venues in the UK.

Gilford girl Shenna, who is currently working towards 2020 Olympics, said this is “a once in a life time opportunity” to help further her future career in cycling.

A Level student Shenna, who has represented Ulster in Sainsbury’s School Games, is thrilled to have been informed that she will be riding under the Team Sky banner for the six race series and is particularly looking forward to the three events in the Manchester Velodrome – home of Team Sky.

The most talented 15 and 16-year-old riders in Britain will race at velodromes in Manchester, Glasgow and London. The Future Stars competition provides invaluable experience for some of Britain’s most promising new talent.

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Current professionals such as Peter Kennaugh, Simon Yates and Geraint Thomas have come through the Future Stars ranks – a unique event which gives Britain’s brightest young cycling talent the chance to race in front of sell-out crowds, with the event also being televised.

Previous Future Stars winners have gone onto be Olympic champions.

Shenna’s mum Nicola said it is a “very exciting time” for the local family.

“It’s amazing,” Nicola commented. “When Shenna initially applied she thought ‘It’ll never happen to me.’ Then when she got the email saying she had been selected, it was ‘oh wow’.

“It is completely self funded, which is our big problem. We are trying our best to see what we can send her to. We were going to send her to just Manchester and Glasgow as to send her to London is really expensive, but them we saw she’d been selected for Team Sky and we thought ‘Oh wow, what do we do now?’ We’re in a dilema.

“Shenna is sending letters to companies to see if she can get funding and we are trying to put together a fundraiser.”

There are two events in London, three in Manchester and one in Glasgow during the Future Stars series, beginning in London on October 24/25, and running until March.

Nicola continued: “Sir Chris Hoy set this up to give 15 and 16-year-olds, the best in the UK, the opportunity to race and be part of a pro team. The races will be held as part of the Revolution Series in between the World Cup programme, so the likes of Ben Swift will be in the pen with the young cyclists.

“Shenna is the only one from Ireland who is going to the event. There was a girl from Donegal selected, but the races don’t fit in with her exams.

“It’s a very exciting time for us all,” Nicola added. “Ideally we want to get Shenna to all six rounds. Shenna is taking everything in her stride.”

Banbridge CC members wish Shenna the best of luck with her training and look forward to hearing about her successes in due course.

If anyone would like to support Shenna as she takes part in the Future Stars series, please email nicolamckiverigan@yahoo.co.uk or you can contact Banbridge Cycling Club.