YOUNG cycling role models Shallan Pompe and Alaya Humber are set to take their racing up a gear. Eureka Cycling veterans wants to help Ballarat female cyclists push their game to a higher level and, in introducing a support grant, felt compelled to help two emerging juniors rather than just one.
The club had initially created a scholarship to help a young female rider, in a bid to try and boost participation in the sport. Instead, in partnership with food packaging company Krehalon Australia, the club ended up doubling the grant to two worthy recipients they could not split.
Shallan, aged 15, and Alaya, 16, are each vying to contest state championships and off the track, is a leader in her school. Both has also followed an older sibling into cycling.
A fierce BMX racer, Shallan has missed some races this year with illness but is fired up to try and compete in the Victorian titles in Warrnambool in November and build on her form a year earlier.
Shallan is also a member of BMX team Twisted Concepts, a team based in the United Kingdom, with her brother Damon. In between racing, Shallan also spends time working with younger Ballarat BMX riders to help them improve their craft.
Fellow Ballarat-Sebastopol Cycling Club rider Alaya is a fast proving a track specialist with a string of podium finishes under coach Damien Keirl. Alaya is also powerlifting close to the national record for her division with gym strength work a key component of her training.
She is also a member of the Sovereign Hill track cycling program with her sister Iesha. Together the sisters are also compete in human powered vehicle events.
Eureka Cycling vice-president Dean Wells said the club felt it was important to help to reinforce a pathway for talent riders. The club had long been concerned about female participation rates and was determined to take action in helping girls to re.
Eureka Cycling was established a decade ago primarily for masters riders to race. Mr Well said the club felt a responsibility to encourage females to pick up the sport and to stay riding.
“Frustratingly, the lack of support is prevalent at all levels, across every cycling discipline. It has led to lower participation rates of females in cycling. This is also quite obvious in the veterans cycling ranks,” Mr Wells said.
“Simply, Eureka Cycling wish to contribute, to the future development of cycling.”
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